Red Dirt Diaries: Artist Builds Instruments In Skirvin Hotel


Friday, September 26th 2014, 8:06 pm
By: Karl Torp


Alongside downtown's hustle and bustle, comes work both delicate and disciplined. “It's something I enjoyed doing,” said violin maker Arsenios Corbishley.

In an age of mass production, Corbishley handles tools that have been around even longer than cellos, violas and violins.

On the first floor of the Skirvin Hotel he builds all three.

“I do also get people that will walk by the studio and stop and stare. Sometimes they come in. Sometimes they don't,” he said.

Inside, you get an appreciation for the delicate details. “Each piece of wood responds differently.”

It takes Corbishley, who went to instrument-building school for three years, six weeks per violin.

Like a snowflake, no two Corbishley's are alike, even if the price is the same. “The violins I'm making now are sold for $4,000,” Corbishley explained.

The music maker plays the cello, but says not well enough for us to hear.

Instead he finds inspiration in the slow evolution, long before the standing ovation.

“It is kind of exciting as a maker to see an instrument after it's been broken in a little bit since I sold it to them,” he said.

Corbishley has worked at the hotel for nearly a year in the Skirvin's ‘Artist in Residence' program.

“Being down here kind of exposed OKC to the fact that this still exists,” Corbishley said.

You just have to slow down enough to take notice at an Artist at work, even though he needs some help to bring his creations to life.

If you have a story to tell, go to our Red Dirt Diaries page, and fill out the form.