About us

Dota Williams

Dota Williams was born Theodota Theodoridis in Melbourne Australia. She is of Greek / Australian descent. Since childhood she has been known as both Dota and Theodota. She married Alan in 1999.

Dotas interest in instrument making began through her love of playing of the violin and her desire to own a Stradivari one day (sadly not achieved yet!) Her interest in repairs was sparked when as a child she intentionally smashed one of her first own violins and set about trying to fix it her self. Visiting her local violin makers work shop set in motion a fascination with all things to do with the violin, viola and cello. She made her first violin under the guidance of her local violin maker in between assisting him in his workshop on Saturday mornings and school holidays with general repairs. She had made 2 violins by the time she left school.

She later travelled to the UK for interview and tests was offered a place at Newark Violin Making college where she studied full time for 3 years. She graduated in 1992.

Dota has worked professionally as a repairer, instrument maker and fine restorer in workshops in England, France and Australia. Her restoration skills were learnt in the workshop  of one of  the U.K.s  leading  restorers. The restoration work done here was on valuable and original antique instruments. Most of these instruments were 200 years old or more and required intensive restoration involving months and sometimes years of work to each instrument. The work here was slow and very time consuming. It varied due to differing individual problems for each instrument. Emphasis being to bring the instrument back into sound playing condition, but without losing the core of original features and style.

Each of the workshops she has worked in has specialized / operated in different areas. Sale of instruments, tonal and cosmetic adjustments, new making, repairs and fine restoration of old and valuable instruments. She has also taught these skills to others in a professional capacity.

In 2006 she moved with Alan to Mount Evelyn in the Dandenong Ranges on the edge of Melbourne, Australia to be nearer relatives.

She returned to live in the UK  near Alans family in late Nov 2010.

Alan Williams

Alan originates from Norfolk in the U.K. With the strong  foundations of his varied woodworking  background he began his career as an instrument maker working in the workshop of his local violin maker. He expanded his knowledge by going to Newark Violin Making College  U.K. where he studied for 3 years full time in instrument making and repair .

On graduating Alan developed his skills further; specialising in the making of antiqued instruments and working in the specialised field of fine restoration. He has worked in France, the U.K. and Australia undertaking new making, repairs, the making of antique copied instruments and fine restoration. He has worked for both others and himself.

Alan was assistant to one of the U.K’s leading instrument copyists and worked there for several years involved solely in the making of realistic antiqued instruments. He has a keen interest in the expansive area of varnishing and making realistic antiqued instruments.

Alan later joined Dota  working in the workshops  of one of  the U.K.s leading fine restorers. This experience provided a valuable insight into the hidden construction methods used in the past and this knowledge is used in the making of our own handcrafted instruments.