A violin-maker has created the world’s first vegan violin to be registered with The Vegan Society’s trademark – he spent five long years crafting the perfect, animal-friendly instrument.
Mastercraftsman Padraig O’Dubhlaoidh had been approached to make the animal-free violin instrument five years ago, but now feels it is finally complete.
He crafted the vegan violin in his Worcestershire-based workshop, putting countless hours of research into which materials would not only fit the vegan bill but be as durable as possible.
Padraig, 65, said: “The vegan violin was someone’s problem which I accepted. I decided to try and make the best one I could.
“I wanted to give violin players the chance to play together, despite their views.
“I made my first one and tested it to destruction, but it’s only now that I feel confident to present it.”
Craftsman Padraig has been a violin maker for the last 40 years, swapping a degree in electronics for violins after reading a book on their construction.
“There was a book called violin making which gave some hints, it got me started. Building a violin is just a series of separate steps. Just focus on your separate elements,” he said.
Violins are traditionally made using non-vegan materials – the glue used to bind various components together contains numerous animal products.
Padraig said: “I’ve learned a lot from making the vegan violin. You would not believe the strange animal products used in the process, including the dried urine of buffalo fed on mangoes. Very odd.
"The original glue is actually inconvenient to use, it makes it brittle, which is not what you want."
Padraig’s efforts have led him to create a separate workshop dedicated to making vegan violins.
He said: “I have two workshops at the moment. One is vegan with separate tools etc. It is the only way to ensure that violins there are fully vegan. I had to account for every material used in the sub-assembly.
“It takes on average a couple of months, but they are bespoke instruments and everything is certified by The Vegan Society.”
Ericka Durgahee, Marketing Manager at The Vegan Society, reacted to the announcement: “It’s incredibly exciting to have the world’s first vegan violin body registered with the Vegan Trademark. This will be music to the ears of so many violinists who have longed for a high-quality instrument that is free from animal products. Every violin is also completely bespoke with the sound and feel tailored to the player’s individual style and preference. Padraig has done a fantastic job and we’re extremely proud of what he has produced.”
Padraig added: “I really hope that it brings more players in. I have had sad messages from people saying they wish they could play, but can’t.
“Imagine having to compromise on your principles.
“It’s a new thing and it might take a little while to get your head around it but hopefully we can help get people playing.”