Following my art college training, I began making instruments in 1997/8. I was first inspired by all the instruments I was seeing on the folk scene at that time as well as a handmade guitar and mandolin I’d bought a few years earlier. Tapping into my love of skilled and detailed work, I made my first guitar on an evening class with well known Spanish guitar maker, Stephen Hill in Lewes, East Sussex. I then went on to rent a bench in his busy workshop and worked with Stephen as a repairer/restorer whilst developing my own mandolin family instruments. This was the ideal training as I was immersed in a professional atmoshere and quickly learned the ropes of running a small crafts business producing high quality instruments.
I went full time in 2003 and after a six month break from making whilst in South America, took on my own workshop in the Star Brewery, Lewes and started making and repairing acoustic guitars. I rented a larger workshop in 2006, took on fellow guitar maker, Nick Benjamin’s repairs and started to teach an evening class which some years later led to the month long courses I now run. Throughout that time I continued to develop my making of both guitars and mandolin family, established a firm client base and eventually took on a young apprentice, Cameron Mobbs. Cameron has now inherited my Sussex repair business and is starting to make his own guitars.
I have now moved with the family, taken on a lovely new workshop in Llanidloes, Mid Wales and from Feburary 2015 will be continuing with making and running my month long guitar making courses.
I have worked for and made instruments for some great artists during the last few years including
Chris Difford, Squeeze
Calum McColl, session to many well known artists
Sam Carter Solo, False Lights
Benji Kirkpatrick, Bellowhead, Seth Lakeman
Bob Johnson, Steeleye Span
Tad Sargent, Crossharbour, Cara Dillon
Lee Westwood, Solo
Ewan Wallace, Bonobo
Mike Simmonds, Bonobo, Alice Russell, Nick Cave
Tim Cotterall, Martha Tilston
John Smith, Solo
Arthur Brown, (Crazy world of)
I have had the pleasure of working alongside two respected makers over the last 15 years, Stephen Hill and Nick Benjamin. These relationships have been key to shaping my understanding of my craft and I am truly thankful for their input.