I make my clavichords and harpsichords in my workshop in an early 19th century family owned dairy farm in the village of Daverdisse, located in the region of the Ardennes, in the south of Belgium. Needless to say, my instruments are totally handcrafted.
No kit. Nothing of the like.
Each instrument is made to order from wood grown, cut and air-dried in the Ardennes. This area is blessed with a splendid diversity of trees to include oak, beech, spruce, walnut, maple, elm, ash tree, lime, poplar, Norway pine, larch Douglas pine, and more. This allows me to select the best wood for the appropriate purpose. For example, natural maple casework is exceptionally solid while maintaining a tasteful appearance and a very fine tone. For soundboards, I select quarter-sawn spruce from the French Jura Mountains or cypress from Southern France.
I often visit international collections of instruments, including the famous Brussels collection of musical instruments, to collect first hand data on original keyboard instruments. My workshop specialises in early instruments from the Italian, German and Franco-Flemish traditions.
Photographs courtesy of Martine Jacquemart, Lionel Maertens, François Verbeek