Like many people who make musical instruments for a living, I didn’t start out intending to be a luthier. I was originally hoping for a career in Aeronautics and so studied Design and Engineering at Bristol Polytechnic in the early eighties.
It was during my time at college that I started making and repairing the odd instrument, mainly solid body electric and acoustic guitars for local musicians and music shops around Bristol. But it wasn’t until I started to get involved in playing traditional Irish music at the sessions in Birmingham in the early 80’s that my connection with the Bouzouki family of instruments started.
The first Irish Bouzouki I made was for Ivan Miletich of the now sadly lost band Long Acre from Birmingham (described by Colin Irwin of FRoots as ‘scandalously underfamous’). Ivan still plays that same instrument today, albeit with the benefit of a few re-frets and services.
That was the best part of 30 or more years ago, and now, very many instruments later, the thought of a career in engineering is thankfully a long a distant memory! I now have my workshop here in the grounds of our smallholding in Herefordshire which I share with Annie my wife and Ruby our dog (and now a couple of Welsh Mountain ponies).