After college, David was a professional furniture maker. He began bowmaking with William Salchow at the University of New Hampshire in the summers of 1982 and 1983. He continued training with David Burgess and Mark Norfleet at Shar Products from 1982-85, and then worked for Claire Givens Violins in Minneapolis, 1985-6. He worked independently in Madison and Seattle before returning to Ann Arbor in 1989. Orlin participated in the VSA/Oberlin Bowmaker’s Workshop in 1996, 1997 and 2000. He was elected to membership in the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers (AFVBM) in 1996.
Orlin has taught bow repair and restoration at the National String Workshops in Madison since 1993 and for the VSA/Oberlin bow restoration course since 2003. He has exhibited and presented at conventions of the AFVBM, VSA and the America String Teachers Association, and lectures frequently about bows. In 2001 he was featured on PBS Television’s WNET production EGG: The Arts show.
Specializing in restoration for over 25 years has afforded many opportunities for in-depth study of old master bows. Orlin’s own bow models include historical patterns from Baroque and Classical through 19th Century inspired designs. Related activities include researching alternative bow woods, sculpting, and playing for contra dances.