You may not need (or afford to purchase) a ukulele for $855, but walk into McCarten Violins (1005 Main Street, Suite 2201 of the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket) and you'll find one. You will also (of course) find a garden of violins and violas of all scales and styles. I counted at least fifty on display when I visited, and noticing their symmetry and rich wood finish, the overall effect makes for a startling (and timeless) visual experience.
It is rare that someone gets to pursue two passions in a lifetime, but Dennis McCarten did just that. After years of practicing full time as a litigator in a judicial process he found to be enriching; McCarten put the brakes on his gratifying career to take up another passion; woodworking.
To that extent he concentrated his efforts on the time honored skills of violin making. He was accepted to and graduated from the Violin Making and Repair program of the North Bennet Street School in Boston. This is one of only a handful of full-time violin making programs in the United States. In his training Mr. McCarten worked in an apprentice environment for three years under the close supervision of master violin-makers from Europe. Under their watchful guidance, he also received extensive training in the most challenging techniques of instrument repair and restoration.
It is the repair and care of fine instruments that occupies most of McCarten's time of late, but there are also (as time permits) projects of building specialized custom violins on his list as well. Mr. McCarten also still practices law for select clients, so time is precious.
To that extent, McCarten mainly focuses on violin, viola and cello; as their geometry and form are essentially the same. Most of the instruments in the shop are restored vintage instruments that Dennis has put great time and expertise in bringing back to their peak playing condition.
So perhaps there is an old family heirloom you found in the attic, or your child is just begining to play and needs guidance toward a properly scaled instrument, McCarten Violins offers all of the services to accommodate players of any level.