Ever since we have been in business, a surprisingly large part of our business has been comprised of custom instruments that started with a phone call or email that started with something like “I have this idea…could you guys make it?” I think that this reputation for building unique instruments probably originated from the eccentricity of some of our earliest designs for baritone fiddles and travel violins.
In our early days, we were taking Don Rickert’s musical creations everywhere we could find a crowd of musicians. We were fortunate to live within several hundred miles of the two oldest and largest fiddlers’ conventions in the U.S.: The Old Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, Virginia and the Tennessee Valley Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention in Athens, Alabama. We were also very close to the Stone Mountain Scottish Highland Games, as well as the Georgia State Fairgrounds, where the Georgia State Fiddle Competition takes place. Back in the early days, we would simply “work the crowds” with prototypes of early baritone and backpacker fiddles. We also hung out by performance stages and literally accosted top musicians after they performed and talk them into trying out what we had. A lot of important relationships with recording artists began in those days.
Anyway, we thought that, in the interest of making what we do crystal clear, it would a good idea to establish well-defined “Custom Shop” category as part of our new online store, the Don Rickert Musician Shop. The new official D. Rickert Musical Instrument Custom Shop is for prospective customers with an idea as well as for our own research & development endeavors.
Once we finish getting this new store completely right, we will start posting images and links of past custom instrument projects, as well as renderings and photos of new products we are currently developing.