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Barbara — a place he says was suited neither for his wallet nor for making instruments.
Ojai, it seems, is a much better fit for his old-school processes.
“The weather is perfect for varnishing in Ojai,” Lisus explains. “There is wind and fog in Santa Barbara and you don’t have that in Ojai. It’s almost always sunny.”
That’s important, because his method requires that instruments “bake” in the sun during the lengthy varnishing process, something they can’t do when clouds and fog are present.
In addition to operating his “hobbyist school,” Lisus builds instruments for professional mu- sicians who have neither the time nor inclination to do it themselves. How many has he built during
his 40 years in the business? “Not enough,” he admitted. “I’m lazy.” While he said he hasn’t kept a
Part of the staining and sealing process can be done with a brush . . .
count, he estimates the number to be “more than 100.”
A video on his website, of a 76-year-old woman from Santa
Barbara building a violin for her grandson, is further testament to his assertions that “anyone can do it.”
As for whether there is a par-
Ojai Design + Build
Architecture Project Management Construction
Experience Versatility Creativity
A Partnership With Our clients
Jeffrey Weinstein, AIA Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 798-0010
Photo by Tim Dewar

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