Renate Fink trained at the London College of Furniture, later
London Guildhall University as a maker of early fretted
instruments. She worked for several violin shops in England and on
the continent before setting up her own business. She has been
teaching at West Dean since 1998. Renate is a member of the British
Her instruments are played by Musicians of the Globe under Philipp Picket, Charivari Agreable under Susanne Heinrich, by Jennifer Bullock and other professional and amateur musicians. They have been recorded on numerous CDs and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and WDR Germany.
Describe your approach to teaching.
I teach on a one to one basis to the students own speed and personal experience. We work from a technical drawing using the same techniques I employ in my own workshop. As the instrument develops step-by-step each participant experiences the joy of seeing their instrument grow, created by their own hands.
What inspires your own work?
I draw my inspiration from the beauty of the natural material, the feel, colour and grain of the wood; from the musicians' joy of playing, from my colleagues enthusiasm in sharing the subject and from the sound of music through the ages.