We understand how difficult it is to find qualified, knowledgeable, and respected individuals to train 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 skill to the next generation so that musicians have qualified craftsmen 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 and 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.
Knowing that for centuries, makers kept many aspects about 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 workshop area accommodates up to 15 students in pods of 3 promoting student camaraderie. A centralized hook-up in each pod provides charging capabilities for cell phone, iPad and other electronic devices. Rolling chairs with a height adjustment makes 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 demonstations. All housed within a 2,700 square foot space minutes from downtown. South light from the picture windows provides a view to the serene outdoors. The building also boasts enough space for a separate machine room to assist workshops as well as an educational area with a 75” television screen for compatibility with a computer or simple movie watching. A 4’ x 8’ whiteboard is ideal for class drawings and projection, with seminar tables and seating that do double duty for lunch-time gatherings.
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.
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 have a Master of Bow Making Certificate from the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, which no long 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.
Ann L. Mohr
Business & 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 on finance and business management. She currently owns and operates the business of Mohr & Mohr and is financal manager of fille de Mohr, owned and operated by her daughter Katherine. Mrs. Mohr earned her BS in Business/Accounting from 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 also held the position of Finance Manager for the Ashland County Council on Aging. Mrs. Mohr volunteers as a Tax-Aide for AARP and is Treasurer of the the Center Street Historic District Association.
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 with the intention of following in her father's foot-steps. Ms. Mohr is the Assistant Instructor for the Learning Trade Secrets Bow Workshops and aides in workshop planning and social media marketing. Ms. Mohr is a current Board member of the Violin Society of America and Chairs the New Professionals and Social Media Committees. She is the Administrator of several online platforms for fille de Mohr, Violin Business Professionals, and the VSA. Her social media presence in the industry and within other organized groups is virtually unparalleled.