Fundamentally, the philosophy of the School of French
bow making requires a master to go beyond perfecting
the ancestral tradition of his art: he should also
pioneer new ideas and expand the bow making knowledge.
In the 19th-century for example, J.-B. Vuillaume
patented an iron bow using the latest techniques of
his time. When Benoît Rolland initiated the Spiccato®
adventure, he had this philosophy in mind.
A substainable craft
For this research he set forth challenging goals: to
conceive an adjustable and unbreakable bow of concert
quality, yet affordable. His other motivation was
ecological. By the early eighties, concerns were
growing over the dwindling supplies of pernambuco
wood. Benoît Rolland was one of the first
professionals to act with a view on protecting this
increasingly rare natural resource. His objective was
to preserve at once both pernambuco wood and the
patrimony of historical bows by developing a viable
alternative material for making high quality bows in numbers.
Rolland proposed to reserve pernambuco
wood logs for only making bows as fine art works.
Rolland very rarely engages in retailing historical
bows; he chose the more demanding path of giving his
time, energy and knowledge to conserving the
historical patrimony and himself creating bows that
may contribute to tomorrow patrimony. To Benoît, “Bows
are valuable for the world of talents that they
Creating an entirely innovative bow of high quality in
synthetic materials, implied combining a multiple
expertise: A masterful understanding of historical
bows and the capacity of replicating them; the
capacity of handling research in science and
technology; and an in-depth analysis of the culture of
classical musicians, as no innovation would spread if
interprets do not accept it.
Creating Spiccato® meant for Benoît Rolland coming out
of his way as an artist, self-teaching science and new
technologies, engaging his reputation as a renown
maker, financing the research and initial manufacture,
and ultimately traveling the world in all possible
harsh conditions to bring the bow to the musicians.
From its first years, Spiccato® rallied around its bold
concept the unfailing enthusiasm of great soloists, of
independent minded professors and enlightened
collectors, of lawyers who made it an exhilarating and
memorable venture. Spiccato® is now played worldwide
and reached its maturity while no synthetic bow surpassed yet
the quality of the Spiccato® Maestro made by Benoît Rolland.