The violin maker's craft

Corner room presentation by Niels Rijsemus

17 December 2022 till 5 March 2023

The display area of Bureau Europa is furnished by the Maastricht violin maker Niels Rijsemus. Rijsemus is forced to combine an age-old, but rare and slowly dying profession with special product design.

BeeldIn the Netherlands, the profession of a violin maker is classed as a ‘liberal profession’: there is no student grant for students (moreover, you can only study abroad) and no government support for stocks of wood and tools. The number of violin makers is declining.

Rijsemus was apprenticed to his own father and solves the current, difficult climate by manufacturing other special products in addition to violins from the same lignum vitae wood that is durable and workable enough for the violins themselves. From wristwatch straps to pocketknives, paperweights and lampshades.

Since 2005, Niels Rijsemus has been working as an independent violin maker in his father Martin’s studio, located in Witmakersstraat in Maastricht (est. 1980). Besides having been his father’s apprentice, he took restauration courses in Mittelwald with the renowned Georg Eittinger. In addition to his violin activities, Rijsemus also produces traditionally crafted wooden products, by the name of ViolinWorks.

Dates Saturday 17 December to Sunday 5 March; regular opening hours
Admission regular admission prices
If you have difficulty paying, other options are available.


Image: Moniek Wegdam