Build A Fiddle!

Randal Eller, of Chilhowie, teaches the fine craft of fiddle making here at The Henderson. The next class offered will be Monday, October 2-7, 2023.  Check out this video of Randal’s Craftsmanship in action!  

The cost of the class is $3500 and includes ALL materials and two phenomenal meals per day. We limit the class to 3 students…We ask for a $500 deposit to cover cost of initial materials.  Here is a link to Randal’s Facebook page if you want to find out more about this amazing artisan: Randal Eller Instruments Facebook

Thank you for your interest in the Fiddle Making Workshop at the Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts located in Marion, Virginia. This fiddle making workshop consists of one intensive week-long program, followed by two days (to be determined) of final construction of your instrument. The class begins on a Monday morning and continues through the week, finishing the initial build on Saturday. You will have the opportunity to build one 4/4 fiddle with the mentoring of Randal Eller.

We hold two workshops per year; the second week of May and the second week in October. After your week of building, there is also reconvene which we call a “put-together get-together” about 2-3 weeks after each workshop. Reconvene dates are determined by instructors and participants.

Cost for the workshop is $3500 and can be subject to change in the future with the rising cost of supplies.

Lodging is extra, with several affordable options available (see below).

Tuition includes: 

  • Custom assembled fiddle parts by our instructor: Curly maple back and sides, spruce top and Maple neck.
  • Fiddle case 
  • Finishing process of fiddle by Randal
  • Full breakfast and lunch each day (M-S) and snacks/drinks throughout the day.

$500 deposit is required upon acceptance to reserve your bench. The balance is due first day workshop. We will accept payments up to the actual workshop, if you request to pay by PayPal or Credit card, you will assume the fees, because of this, many pay with a check.

Deposits are non-refundable. If you need to cancel your reservation and give more than 30 days notice, you may apply your deposit to a future workshop. If you cancel your reservation less than 30 days before the workshop start date, and your spot is filled by another students, you will be able to apply your deposit to a future workshop.

If you cancel less than 30 days before the course and your spot is not filled by another student, your tuition will not be returned or applicable to another class. Please understand your deposit and tuition will be refunded in full in the case of any course cancellation by The Henderson.

Partner Component

In the past we have had spouses that have accompanied their partners and were interested in exploring some of our other offerings. We now offer a variety of craft choices which may include pottery, Letterpress/Book Arts, quilting, weaving and more. If there is a particular interest, or perhaps a variety of general craft projects: mosaic, barn quilt painting, etc, let us know. The cost of the partner component is $500 which will cover supplies, instructor fee, and meals with guitar workshop participants.

About the Workshop:
Everyone gets together for one week (beginning on a Monday morning bending sides and preparing backs, finishing Saturday afternoon. At the end of the week, your fiddle body and neck are prepared for Randal to take them for his custom finishing process.