Nicole DESCLOUX Bowmaker


Nicole Descloux began her training as a bowmaker apprenticed to Roger-François Lotte
in the city of Mirecourt, the cradle of the modern bow, thus carrying on the tradition
which is the pride and joy of the French school of bow-making.
She has been crafting bows for the quartet of string instruments
– violin, viola, cello and double bass – since 1993.
Nicole Descloux, bowmaker

Nicole Descloux, bowmaker

Nicole Descloux makes bows for professional musicians and students at music academies alike.

She will listen to each of them and give them the time needed to fine-tune their bow according to their touch and to their expectations.

In turn, she draws inspiration from the musicians’ comments on the way their bow feels when they play: “strong attack”, “high degree of precision”, “stable, reliable, good hold, sensitive”, “the bow is both flexible and responsive, and sticks to the string from frog to tip”, “it plays by itself”,  “warm, generous sound” – those are the qualities sought by Nicole and quoted time and again by the artists who use her bows.


Nicole Descloux welcomes you in her workshop in Bourg-de-Péage,
deep in the countryside and yet a mere 10 minutes away from Valence TGV train station.
The garden she tends is an invitation to listen
– to the musicians, their instruments and what they expect.


Modern bows

From listening to bow-making

Every time she sets about designing a new bow, Nicole Descloux aims to endow it with all the qualities sought by the musician.
The bow should have a refined shape, in the spirit of the French school, be reliable and comfortable, and produce a sound rich in harmonics.

A dialogue with the artist is an absolute prerequisite to crafting a beautiful, reliable bow that will meet their needs and expectations.
Most of Nicole’s bows are thus made to order. However, the artist is not required to commit to buying the bow until all the fine-tuning and the trial period have been satisfactorily completed.

Fine-tuning with and for Raphaël Oleg
has greatly helped me to master
this essential technique.
”, says Nicole.

Baroque bows

From modern bow to baroque bow?
An ongoing exploration...

Nicole Descloux has added yet another string to her bow. Since 2012, she has been experimenting with baroque bows at the request of Florence Malgoire, solo violinist with the Orchestre des Arts Florissants.

United in their quest for a sound that is generous, round and reliable, both musician and bowmaker aim to tailor modern bow-making experience to the specific needs of baroque music performers and their instruments.

Click on the thumbnails to display details

Violin bow Violin
Violin bow Violin
Viola bow Viola
Cello bow Cello
Double bass bow Double bass
Baroque Violin Bow Baroque
Violon Bow
Baroque Celo Bow Baroque
Cello Bow
Bows for the string Quartet Bows for the
string Quartet


In Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Paris, Geneva and Basel,
many orchestra string players use Nicole’s creations...
There are many soloists among the artists who have entrusted her
with their wishes – and they keep coming back.
Raphaël Oleg
Raphaël Oleg

Raphaël Oleg

Nicole Descloux crafts unique bows which reflect her gift for truly listening to musicians’ wishes, in a quest for perfection that is constant and passionate. She is the bridge, the link, the juncture where the raw material awaiting discovery meets the hand of the artist who will ease its vibration and emotion into this world. Her bows have been my companions for many years now and I am very pleased to recommend her talent and wonderful skills. Raphaël Oleg

Anne Gastinel
Anne Gastinel

Anne Gastinel

I fell in love with Nicole’s bows a long time ago. The quality and the beauty of the wood; the warm sound; the sensitivity; the suppleness and the ease of use. Nicole’s bows are generous and filled with light – like her.
Dear Nicole, thank you for your passion and your modesty, thank you for sharing your knowledge so generously with all the musicians you meet.Anne Gastinel

Nicolas Gourbeix
Nicolas Gourbeix

Nicolas Gourbeix

At long last, thanks to Nicole, I have found the bow which allows me to forget the bow, faithfully transmitting to the string all my intentions – good and less inspired alike! It is heaven to play with a bow both firm and supple, sensitive and stable. And what a sound! Her newly available baroque bow in pernambuco wood is a delight to play, especially Bach, even on my modern strings. A thousand thanks, Nicole, and congratulations! Nicolas Gourbeix, solo violonist, super soloist, orchestre national de l'opéra de Lyon

Pavel Hůla
Pavel Hůla

Pavel Hůla

It is thanks to my friends from Prazak Quatuor that I met Nicole. I first admired the bows for their manufacturing precision, but later when I had the opportunity to try those bows, I immediately admired the beautiful sonority – very clear and the lightness when playing. It must be said that I use to own a very beautiful ancient Sartory bow that suited me very well. But quite soon I decided to order also that bow to Nicole. On top of that I could also visit her nice workshop in Provence and I am delighted now to be able to use every day the bow that is a real art object to me.Pavel Hůla, former first violin of Prazak Quatuor, art director of the praga Camerata – Translated from French

The Quatuor Pražák
The Quatuor Pražák

The Quatuor Pražák

I am very happy to join the Prazak Quartet, not only to play with, but also to have the same high quality violin bow made by Nicole Descloux. This bow was made for me in 2016/2017 and it complies to all my expectations. It is firm and supple at the same time.
I am very grateful and wish you all the very best and many more such wonderful bows, Nicole ! Jana Vonášková, first violin

The bow I now play is one of the finest I have ever heard – it is perfectly balanced and the workmanship is beautiful. Vlastimil Holek, second violin

One by one, we followed the example of our cellist, Michal, and bought bows crafted by Nicole. It’s not often that a whole quartet agrees on the same choice of bow, which speaks to their high degree of homogeneity and quality. Josef Klusoň, alto violin

Playing with Nicole’s bow makes me very happy for several reasons. Firstly, it’s very stable and flexible. Mind you, these are qualities all well-made bows should have, but thanks to Nicole’s personal touch, the bow has a very clear sound and it is pleasing to look at.
I always enjoy using it. Thank you, Nicole, and good luck with your work. Michal Kaňka, cello (website)


Every time an artist requests a bow, a fresh possibility opens for us to work together,
nurturing my wish to go further and further in the quest
for the best instrument in the service of music and musicians.
I am not taking any further orders for the moment.