all photos © copyright of Grace-Notez
Having learned Highland dancing from the age of 5 till 18, and attending an Ingleside monthly, Celtic music was a major influence in my life.
With the exciting arrival of Riverdance & Lord of the Dance I was sponsored to take dance classes by a loving aunt. So at the age of 46 I began four years of true Irish dancing with Adrian Murphy. On stage full performances, a life changing experience that compounded my heritage & love of all things celtic.
Issues with my right knee at the age of 50 saw me hang up my soft & hard shoes, and I began attending a local weekly Ceilidh where I met Barb & Wes Bycroft, the orignal members of 'Twisty Willow', a well known & respected Celtic band.
At the age of 55 my desire to play Celtic music on the fiddle began!
I approached Barb about lessons & so began.
I rented a Fiddle as I had no previous experience of playing music & was unsure if I would master it. This Fiddle had a nice tone and survived the torture of a beginner, as did my family.
However, about 18 months later Phillip Whitehead,"Luthier" tapped me on the shoulder one evening at a Session & passed me a Fiddle & said, "have a play!"
Well it was love at first touch. An older Fiddle with a beautiful tone and grace, so she became 'Grace'.
My first trip to the UK in July 2010 was the beginning Of Grace-Notez.
A week of Summer School in the Castle Hatton, organised by Anne-Marie Forsyth of the 'Auckland Scottish Fiddle Club', was the grounds for the first photos taken of Grace, my Fiddle. On my return home the photos received considerable interest & I was encouraged to continue to take photos.
My cousin-in-law, Brom Breevelt, printer & owner of 'Word's Incorporated' tested a few as greeting cards & we were delighted with the results.
I continued taking photos of Grace (& friends) & producing cards. There were several queries about a calendar. So the 2011 Fiddle calendar was produced. The only way to have the calendar ready was for the photos to be hand-glued! That was quite a mission but worthwhile.
I use these as gifts for visiting Fiddlers or Violinists to New Zealand as there are very few resources out there for Fiddlers & Violinists. These have been received with immense delight!
I now have shots enlarged as Posters, Canvas prints, mugs, keyrings, fridge magnets, a Fiddle clock, Coasters etc - proving quite exciting!
Many of my photos have a Celtic influence due to my heritage & love of Celtic music & dance!
My sincere appreciation to Barb Bycroft for her inspirational teaching and support.
A special thank you to Philip Whitehead at the Stringed Workshop for allowing us to take photos in his workshop. To Candice Osborne trouble shooter extraordinaire.