Uncle Jon’s Violins

Featured image Violin3 front

My late uncle, Jon E. Blasius, was a luthier, woodworker and teacher who lived in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He was my first musical inspiration. Jon gave me my first guitar – a 1971 Guild acoustic that he rebuilt. He was the town’s trusted caretaker of stringed instruments, providing repair services to the schools and locals. Uncle Jon was an amazing woodworker and built 17 violins, a jumbo body guitar, a few ukeleles, and more than two dozen hammered dulcimers. He had a goal of building a new instrument every year. He would mark his instruments with J.E. Blasius. He made extensive repairs and restorations on countless instruments including a 1935 Martin 0-31 which was missing its entire back. Uncle Jon (who used the stage name Jeb Blazes) played fiddle in many bluegrass and classical groups in the Klamath Falls area and earlier in Grass Valley, CA. He also played cello in the Klamath Falls Orchestra.

Jon E. Blasius with Cello
JEBlasius Business Card

When Uncle Jon passed away in March of 2020 (see obituary here), I became the caretaker of several of his instruments including five hand-built violins. Though I count these instruments as beautiful heirloom gifts from my Uncle, I feel that they need to be out in the world and played! This page is meant to showcase my late Uncle’s talent as a woodworker and violinmaker by highlighting a few instruments that are for sale as well as two that are not for sale. These instruments are all 4/4 size and are in Flagstaff, Arizona. If you are interested in any of these instruments, please reach out.

J.E. Blasius Violin #15

JE Blasius Violin 15 front
JE Blasius Violin 15 back

This is violin #15 which he completed in 2012. It’s been cleaned up and has brand new strings and case. Includes bow. Price: $1,200.

J.E. Blasius Violin #11

JEBlasius Violin 11 front
JE Blasius Violin 11 back

This is violin #11 which he completed in 2010. Includes a new case and choice of bow. Price: $1,200.

J.E. Blasius Violin #10 “The Rattler” – SOLD

JE Blasius Violin 10 front
JE Blasius Violin 10 back

Violin #10 was built in 2008. To my surprise as I was cleaning it up, I heard something rattling around inside. After a few vigorous shakes, I was able to position it so that I could see what it was using a flashlight. Turns out it was a rattlesnake rattle! My 14 year old instantly looked it up on her phone and found an article that states for various superstitious and also practical reasons, a traditional, Appalachian fiddlemaker may place a snake rattle inside the body of the violin! I did not expect this! I wonder what Uncle Jon saw for its use. Price: $1,200. Includes case, bow, and snake rattle!

JE Blasius Violin 10 inside snake rattle

 

J.E. Blasius Violin #3 “The Mermaid” – Not for sale

JE Blasius Violin 3 "The Mermaid" front
JE Blasius Violin 3 "The Mermaid" back
JE Blasius Violin 3 "The Mermaid" detail scroll front
JE Blasius Violin 3 "The Mermaid" detail tail
JE Blasius Violin 3 "The Mermaid" detail top
JE Blasius Violin 3 "The Mermaid" detail back scroll
JE Blasius Violin 3 "The Mermaid" detail heel
JE Blasius Violin 3 "The Mermaid" detail back

Uncle Jon built this incredible instrument in 1993 while he was living in Grass Valley, CA. I am in awe of this violin and the imagination and skill he had to build it especially for being just the third. This instrument should probably be in a museum, but for now, I’m enjoying it. Not for sale.

J.E. Blasius Violin #17 “The Sun”. Not for sale

JE Blasius Violin 17 "The Sun" front
JE Blasius Violin 17 "The Sun" back
JE Blasius Violin 17 "The Sun" detail back

Jon Blasius Violin #17 was built in 2015 in Klamath Falls, OR. This was Jon’s personal instrument which he took to play at gigs and jam sessions. This one may have been the last violin he built. Not for sale.

Uncle Jon wrote up a great handout that he gave to his customers and students about how to care for stringed instrument. It includes many helpful tips and hand drawn diagrams. Click here to download a pdf of “Care & Feeding of Bowed String Instruments” by J.E. Blasius. Click here to get the hand-drawn diagram insert for the handout. He also made a hand-drawn diagram of the Circle of 5ths. Feel free to use and distribute as needed. Uncle Jon would love knowing his publications are in use.