Mark Drehmann, Bowmaker at Salchow & Sons wears Colorant Weld-Dyed Cashmere Scarf.

Brazilwood was first mentioned as a dye in 1321, sourced from East Indies and India. The word brazil comes from the Spanish brasa, meaning glowing embers, and the country of Brazil was named after the wood found there, not the other way round. The wood of several species of Caesalpinia trees give lovely rich reds. Most of brazilwood sold as a dye comes from Asian trees, grown in managed plantations, and is unlikely to be endangered. The species from Brazil, C. echinata, is also known as Pernambuco, and it is sometimes referred to as the music tree because its wood is used for violin bows. - from

What is your favorite color? My favorite color is green… just because.  Probably because i grew up in the middle of nowhere with trees everywhere, or maybe because my eyes are green-ish.

How did you get into the bow-making business? I had gone to school for music, moved to New York and then decided I didn’t want to be a musician.  I was looking for something to do, and Rachel [Mark’s Sister] was good friends with Isaac Salchow, who was looking for someone to work in his shop, and she convinced him to give me a try.  I’ve been here for 5 years now.

Tell us a bit about Salchow and Sons…William Salchow opened the business 1960.  He had been trained in a couple shops in NYC and got a Fulbright Scholarship to study bowmaking in France, which has been the center of bowmaking for 200 years.  He has trained or influenced most modern bowmakers in the US and has made bows for many of the world’s great musicians over the last 50 years.  The business is now run by his grandson Isaac Salchow.

What are the components of a typical Salchow and Son bow and how long does it take to craft each one? The materials used to make the majority of a bow are pernambuco (northern brazil), ebony (black wood from a few places around the world), and silver.  There’s also a little ivory and a brass/steel screw mechanism. The time to make a bow, if you’re not doing anything else to distract you, would be a few days.  Maybe two days if you’re working really long hours, or a week if you’re taking your time.

Mozart or Beethoven? Beethoven.  Obviously.  Ha!

Where is your favorite place to eat in NYC? On any given day, Chipotle - Chicken Burrito.  If i’m goin’ for fancy, probably an awesome pasta from Del Posto.

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