News, reports and archived information.

September 25th – 27th 2015

Cuveé Darling 2015 in Cremona


An exhibition organized by Andy Lim took place in September once again and parallel to the Mondo Musica in Cremona: Cuveé Darling 2015, Cremona Exhibition

The serial " The Great Bowmakers from the 19th and 20th Century", was extended by a new Leporello about Ludwig Bausch and Heinrich Knopf. The research on life and work of the bowmakers is of great interest for me as I consider them both as one of the most important bowmakers from the 19th century. Photos and detail pictures of the bows likewise come from me.

Warm enough for bending? - Checking of the warmness of the stick with the lips.
August 2015

New bow model – model Tan


The ivory- Cites problem currently causes lots of alarm and irritation amongst musicians. With my new model Tan I avoid all Cites- relevant materials and by that I offer a bow that gives the musicians the possibility for problem-free traveling. The model Tan has tip of titan and renounce mother of pearl. The shape of this model is inspired by the bows of the German bow maker Ludwig Bausch who I appreciate a lot.

New bow model – model Tan
April 2015

Planting project - development


By now the IBAMA has inspected the area for planting and conferred right to use. Now the land has to be prepared for the planting and enough seedlings have to be bought. We found 14 participants. In the first project year every participant contributes 1200 € which are used to plant ¼ ha. The Instituto Preservarte which looks after the project on site receives 20 % for administrative tasks.

December 2014

VioloncellenSeine 2014

International Contemporary Cello Bow Making Competition

The contest was hosted by the L'Association Française du Violoncelle and by the Paris Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional and was excellently organized by Fabienne Ringenbach. Also here I worked as a juror and have enjoyed the good cooperation with the other jurors and the musicians very much.

Report (FR)

June 2014

7. International violin making competition in Mittenwald
in Mittenwald


In this competition not only violin makers take part but of course also bow makers. This time I was no participant but a member in the jury. 56 bows were submitted and had to be examined and be valued. It was a long way, until in the end all winners of a medallion were certain.

April 2014

Voyage to Brazil- Preparation
for the planting project


Our aim is that smaller farmers cultivate trees for commercial purposes and by that have an additional opportunity to earn money with the support of the planting. For a start it is necessary to find out which formalities and laws have to follow and which authority is competent for the different steps. Therefore it is planned to firstly plant at the Casara's and at Floriano Schäffer's ground - 2 ha each - and pass on the know-how. Floriano is bowmaker and land owner who has planted a lot on his ground and by that gained experience in cultivation farming already.
The land will then be appraised by the IBAMA - the state environmental agency in Brazil.

Obligation is amongst others that no further deforestation will be conducted. It is important for us to comply with all formalities as we are dependent on support by authorities. To not create monocultures a combination of Fernambuk, Rio Palisander, Ipe and Cedro is planned. All of these trees are used for building instruments. Fernambuk- and Rio Paliander- seedlings need the shadow of bigger trees at the beginning – the faster growing coconut for instance- to orientate themselves towards the light and grow straight. Also it must be cleared where we get enough seedlings whose origin is provable.

'wild' seedlings
August 25th - September 3rd 2013

Bow building workshop in Brazil
at the Casara family`s


Sustainability and conscious handling of natural resources are crucial topics for me as we have been wasting raw materials on account of future generations for a long time now. I am convinced that sustainability towards Fernambuk use is possible. Fernambuk (caesalpina echinata) – Brazil`s national tree – is the wood with the best characteristics for bow making. The tree exclusively grows in the Mata Atlantika- the most fertile growing area in Brazil. So big areas were cleared for agricultural purposes and to protect the remnant forests the tree was listed in attachment II of the CITES agreement (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) in 2001. Manufacture and trade are allowed if a legal purchase of the wood can be stated. But at the moment it is hardly possible to legally purchase the wood. I as a bow maker feel the responsibility to take care that there is not only taking but also new planting.

Family Casara is very engaged in youth work and has founded the Instituto Preservarte in 1999. Meanwhile their music school is well-known for its very good and successful youth work in Brazil. Lately there is also an own Violin Making School. In collaboration with Renato Casara and his sisters Ana and Estela I organized a workshop in Joao Neiva. The goal was to bring European and Brazilian bow makers together. To commonly work, plant and reduce prejudices but also to make contact with government representatives to present the project. Our goal is that a group of European bowmakers will be allowed to commercially cultivate wood in Brazil in collaboration with Renato Casara and his family respectively the Instituto Preservate. Two established bow makers Eric Grandchamp and Mitsuaki Sasano accompanied me to that workshop.

Group picture (From the Left):
Carlos Ambrosini, Igor Fomin, Jose Carlos Rosonni, Ruy Renato Casara, Carlos Brasil, Eric Granchamp, Sidney Sabbag, Pierre Peloux, Mitsuaki Sasano, Renato Casara, Fabricio Ambrosini , Manoel Francisco, Josef Gabriel

Group picture of the participants with seedling
Impressions of the Workshop
Impressions of the Workshop
Tree care
Discussion about tree care
Pernambuco seedlings
The common plant
Eric Grandchamp and Duda plant a seedling
The seedling I have planted last year
Mitsuaki Sasano visits the cultivations of Floriano Schäffer
Floriano Schäffer, Josef Gabriel and Mitsuaki Sasano
Possible cultivation area
Thursday, September 19, 2013

Leporello showing bows by
Eugène Mikolai Sartory- June 2013


Darling Publications starts editing the first Leporello with the title ´The Great Bowmakers from the 19th and 20th Century´. The first tome shows 18 bows of the great french bowmaker Eugène Nikolas Sartory (1871-1946) in its original scale plus a series of detailed images.

I took part in selecting the bows- the detailed images come from me.

Leporello showing bows by Eugène Mikolai Sartory
Leporello showing bows by Eugène Mikolai Sartory
Thursday, September 19, 2013

Travel to Denmark into the
Royal Danish Theatre -
8th to 11th of June 2013


The orchestra of the Royal Danish Theatre – Det Kongelige Teater- is said to be one of the oldest orchestras in Europe and was first mentioned in records in 1448. It is also among the few orchestras that provides the instruments for its musicians. This explains how there is an unknown Stradivari in its fund.

Andy Lim from Darling Publications and PhaseOne - one of the leading producer of midformat camera systems – used that occasion to travel to Denmark and photograph this amazing instrument for a publication... an opportunity for me to watch a master of photography at work.

Siehe Video bei ...

 Die Stradivari
Thursday, September 19, 2013

Moscow- Photographing Kittel bows at
Glinka Museum – Mai 2013-10-18


In 2011 the book about Nikolai Kittel and his bows was published. Therefore it was possible to see and photograph the collection of Kittel bows preserved at the Glinka Museum in Moscow.

The preparation for travel was quite complex due to obtaining approval for photographing at the museum, application for visa and building a mobile camera construction. Our days at the museum have been exhausting but luckily there was time left for a wander through the city!

beim Fotografieren
Josef Gabriel mit seinem mobilen Fotoaufbau beim Fotografieren
Gruppenbild mit Direktor vom Glinka Museum
Bolshoi Theater
Türme der Basilius Kathedrale
Thursday, September 19, 2013

Participation in the
Pau Brasil wokshop- March 2013


I took part in the Pau Brasil workshop in Reclife as representative from I.P.C.I Germany- an international initiative for the conservation of the Pernambuco tree. The conference was about the progress of the project we supported.

Issues such as cultivation techniques, wood quality and forestry policy were discussed and of course the prosecution of the project. We from I.C.P.I are happy about having found a reliable and good partner in APNE. You will find information on the work of our association on


Additionally I visited my friend Renato Casara. Years ago Mr. Casara started growing Pernambuco trees on his own initiative.

Das Loch für den Setzling ausheben
Der Setzling wird gepflanzt
Erde auffüllen
Thursday, May 31, 2012

Meeting with French musicians in Paris


Participation in an exhibition of violin and bow makers in Paris from March 7 to 10, 2012, organized by the AELA on the premises of the Fondation Singer-Polignac. AELA stands for Atelier Européen de Luthiers et Archetiers, an organization of largely French violin and bow makers.

The premises of the Fondation are impressive and the exhibition well organized.

The visitors, for the most part interested musicians and teachers, could only enter the exhibition area by previously registering and were able to try out the instruments and bows of their choice. This was not a sales event but an opportunity for craftspeople to present their instruments and bows to French musicians and publicize their work. The response to my bows was very good; they were frequently tried out by the musicians and feedback was positive.

Eiffel Tower at night
AELA Paris Feb. 6-10, 2012 exhibition
Trying out instruments
Talking shop
Violins to try out
The exhibitors enjoying a meal together
Paying homage to the Stradivarius
Thursday, November 11, 2011

Exempla 2009, Munich


This special show of the 61st Craft Fair Munich adopted the motto: Music instruments – Masterpieces of arts and crafts.

Bow makers who showed at the fair were Morgan Andersen - U.S.A., Josef P. Gabriel - Germany, Eric Grandchamp - France, and Christophe Collinet- also from Germany.

These four craftsmen took on the task of building two cello bows, the proceeds of their sale being donated to the I.P.C.I / This association supports the cultivation of the pernambuco tree in Brazil by local farmers. The project was the idea of Dr. Andy Lim of Darling Publications.

Christophe Collinet planing a stick
Not just work, also play
The four bow makers
Eric Grandchamp assessing his work
Josef Gabriel bending
Morgan Andersen

Co-author of the publication:
The Bows of Nikolai Kittel


This is the first comprehensive publication about the bows of Nikolai Kittel of St. Petersburg. Authors: Klaus Grünke, Josef P. Gabriel and Yung Chin. All photographs that appear in the book were taken by Josef P. Gabriel. Published in October 2011. For more information, go to:

Kittel book

MondoMusica in Cremona


Publication of the fanfold brochure "Exceptional German Bows of the Violin Family from the 19th and 20th Century" in collaboration with Andy Lim of Darling Publications. It features illustrations of bows made by old German bow makers as well as images of Josef P. Gabriel's bows.

Exceptionel 21th Century German Bows
Exceptionel 19th Century German Bows
The printer presents fanfold brochures at Andy Lim's
GABRIEL fanfold brochure

Supervision of degree thesis


Supervision of Sebastian Valtl's degree thesis at Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences, department of Wood Technology. The thesis addressed determining the properties of pernambuco and alternative woods for string instrument bows.


I.P.C.I. Deutschland


Founding member of I.P.C.I. Deutschland, the German section of the International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative. The association is dedicated to the protection and conservation in Brazil of the pernambuco tree or Caesalphiniaechinata. Full information about the work of the German section can be found at

Founding member of I.P.C.I. Deutschland
Since 1998

Member of the master craftsman's
examination board


Member of the master craftsman's examination board for the craft of bow making at the Chamber of Craft Trades of the administrative region of Mittelfranken, Germany.

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