Jose Cruz began his apprenticeship, as a luthier, with Nash Mondragon the owner of Cremona Violin Dealers & Maker of San Francisco in 1990. During his apprenticeship with Mr. Mondragon, he had the opportunity to work on some historically important violins. Including the Nicolò Amati. The Italian Antonio Stradivaris. The Guarneri family, Cremona. Grancino, Guarnerius, Ruggieri, Gagliano . Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, Enrico Rocca. Fagnola . Vicenzo Panormo and French instruments. Pierre Josphe Hell. J.B. Vuillaume.
Jose also had the opportunity to work on bows such as Lamy , Pajeot. Katty . Pierre Simon. Peccatte. Tourte. Vuillaume. W.E.Hill & Sons. Tubbs. Eugene Sartory. And more.
After completing his apprenticeship in 2009 Jose Cruz continued to work for Nash Mondragon until 2012 when Mr. Mondragon retired.
Before opening his San Francisco shop Mash Mondragon worked with Mr. Hans Weisshaar in Los Angeles. In 1960, Hans Weisshaar established the company and became the first violin maker and restorer of his caliber in the western United States. And, prior to coming to Los Angeles, Hans Weisshaar had spent many years working with Ferdinando Sacconi in New York. It is from these masters Jose gained a strong commitment to the mastery and use of traditional techniques.
The most important activities in our violin-making workshop have always been the repair and meticulous restoration of string instruments. He is happy to be at your service.in a work shop practice that utilizes traditional, time honored repair and restoration techniques executed to the highest standard.
Lastly, Jose would like you to know that his greatest inspiration comes from the Italian, French and German instrument makers. And, that he specializes in the repair and restoration of historically significant instruments.