We're having a great 2023 season with an abundance of enthusiasm for learning!
Classes have been filled with students from around the world, including Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Israel, Switzerland, Korea and around the United States.
This year's awards go to .....
The Spring Rehairing & Maintenance class gets the award for "Most Dedicated and Bonded" group.
The Basic Bow Repair class gets the award for "Most Inquisitive" group.
The Classic Italian Varnish class gets the award for "Most Beautiful Instruments" group.
The Advanced Violin Set-Up class gets the award for "Most Outgoing and Foody" group.
The Frog & Button Making class gets the award for "Most Quiet and Focused" group.
The Introduction to Bow Making class gets the award for "Most Interactive and Fun" group.
The Advanced Bow Making class gets the award for "Most Independent" group.
The Re-touching Varnish class gets the award for "Most Improved" group.
The Intermediate/Advanced Bow Restoration class gets the award for the "Most Accomplished" group.
The Making Master Class gets the award for the "Most Learned" group.
The Summer Rehairing & Maintenance class gets the award for being the "Most Diverse" group.
Just a few pics from this season showing the work as well as the fun. Hope to see you in 2024!
We understand how difficult it is to find qualified, knowledgeable, and respected individuals to train instrument/bow makers and restorers. Until now, there were no schools in the United States that focused on these specific skills. It is critically important to impart years of experience, knowledge, and skills to the next generation so that musicians have qualified craftsmen and women to keep their instruments and bows in optimal condition.
In 2013, Mohr and Mohr began to offer small group and individualized training to prospective bow makers and restorers near and far. This is a trade difficult to learn and requires constant training. After having reached full capacity since its inception, Mohr & Mohr realized it was time to open a year-round training center focused on specific techniques in both instrument and bow making, as well as repair and restoration with a conservative approach. So, in February 2018, Rodney, Ann, and Katherine Mohr took the plunge and opened Learning Trade Secrets, LLC. After experiencing a pandemic, COVID-19, in 2020 and having to cancel 14 of 16 workshops, the Mohr's decided to move Learning Trade Secrets back to their home studio. The classes will no longer be held year-round, but rather April-August with a Bow Rendezvous at the end of September.
Knowing for centuries that makers kept many aspects of varnish and other techniques secret, the Mohr's decided to use the term in the name of the new company, hence 'Learning Trade Secrets.' We hope you will come and learn the many Secrets of the highly acclaimed makers and restorers of the 21st century and centuries past. Instructors are invited from around the country to instruct you on the finer points of making and restoration of stringed instruments and bows, identification, business, and other important topics.
Our new workshop area accommodates up to 12 students in pods of 3, promoting student camaraderie. A centralized hook-up in each pod provides charging capabilities for cell phones, iPads, and other electronic devices. Rolling chairs with a height adjustment make it a breeze to adjust for optimal bench height for woodworking. A beautifully handcrafted cherry instructor’s bench, designed and built by Rodney D. Mohr, is the focal point for demonstrations. A 75” television screen for compatibility with a computer, microscope, or simple movie watching adds to technology flexibility along with a 4’ x 8’ whiteboard ideal for class drawings and projection.
The workshop is directly west of the current workshop and is within walking distance to downtown. On the way North to downtown you'll pass the Post Office, Taco Bell, Rite Aid, the Ashland Library, the Chamber of Commerce and the Municipal Building, while next door is Romeo's Pizza and Dunkin Donuts. Across the street is Subway, Domino's Pizza, and Eva's Treats. To the South is Ashland University, Burger King, Arby's, Pizza Hut, Little Caesar's, McDonald's, and several gas stations. Needless to say, the location has a lot to offer as it is located on one of Ashland's main drags.
We hope everyone will love the new location. Expected moving date is September 5, 2023. Watch your workshop emails for the new address.
Rodney D. Mohr
Bow Maker & Restorer
Rodney D. Mohr has demonstrated his leadership abilities by holding the position of President of the Violin Society of America, American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers, and Center Street Historic District Association. He is a current Board member and Alumni of the Kenneth Warren & Son School of Violin Making, now known as the Chicago School of Violin Making. He is the Chair of the Preservation Board for the City of Ashland Historic District and a member of the VSA and the AFVBM, and is the current Workshop Director of Learning Trade Secrets.
His international reputation as a bow maker and restorer has reached as far as Taipei, Taiwan, where he has been invited to work on the country's finest instruments. He has received multiple awards from international competitions and has earned the distinction of Hors' Concours from the Violin Society of America. Mr. Mohr also has been a past judge for VSA International Competitions. He is one of three bow makers in the United States that hold a Master of Bow Making Certificate from the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, which no longer awards the certificate. As a past Co-Director of the VSA/Oberlin Bow Restoration Workshop and current owner of Learning Trade Secrets and Director of Bow Workshops, Mr. Mohr has spent decades training individuals in the fine art of bow making and restoration, including his daughter Katherine.
Rodney reached a major milestone in November 2018, having completed his 1,000th bow, now in a private collection. He continues to make and restore bows in his home studio in Ashland, Ohio, where he services musicians and collectors from around the globe. Upon receiving his first patent in 2021, Rodney is in the developmental stages of bringing his patent to life through a third business called "NuBow Inc."
Ann L. Mohr
Business Manager & Finance Director
Ann L. Mohr attended Indiana University as a violin performance major and later the Chicago School of Violin Making, where she earned her diploma. Since then, she has focused her career in finance and business management. She currently owns and operates the business of Mohr & Mohr, Learning Trade Secrets and NuBow Inc. Mrs. Mohr earned her BS in Business with a concentration in acounting from the University of Phoenix, where she graduated with honors and was a member of Delta Mu Delta, Lambda Sigma Chapter of the Business Honor Society. She also holds a Non-Profit Leadership Certificate from The Ohio State University.
As a professional violinist and talented manager, Mrs. Mohr has held many leadership positions, including Principal, Assistant Concertmaster, Personnel Manager, Librarian, and Executive Director of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra. She has been the Finance Manager of the Ashland County Council on Aging and the past treasurer of the Center Street Historic District Association. Mrs. Mohr has volunteered as a Tax-Aide for AARP, entering her 13th year in 2023.
Katherine A. Mohr
Bow Maker, Restorer
Marketing & Social Media Director
Katherine A. Mohr is recognized as the first second-generation female bow maker in the United States. She owns and operates fille de Mohr, focusing on bow making and restoration to follow in her father's footsteps. Ms. Mohr is the Assistant Instructor for Learning Trade Secrets Bow Workshops and aides in workshop planning and social media marketing. Ms. Mohr is a past board member of the Violin Society of America and past chair of the New Professionals and Social Media Committees. She is the Administrator of several online platforms for fille de Mohr and Violin Business Professionals. Her social media presence in the industry and within other organized groups is virtually unparalleled.