My Name is Wally..

Quex House

My name is Wally, and I’m Walnut. That’s the wood I’m talking about, not the seed I was grown from. I was born back in 1785, or maybe 1783. It depends on when you count a tree being born, when the seed is planted in a growing pot, or when the young sapling is planted out in it’s permanent location. I was put in quite a nice place, in front of a big house along with a few of my brothers and some other relatives. I remember that when we were young we were quite well looked after by a man in baggy trousers and a big flat cap. It took a few years, but it wasn’t long Continue reading My Name is Wally..

Smugglers Festival

The weekend was spent at the excellent Smugglers Festival, held in a field somewhere between Deal and Dover (It took me one and a half hours to find it, and I knew where it was being held!!) The feedback we got was little short of amazing, with a constant stream of compliments about our ‘beautiful’ instruments. The most interest, throughout the weekend, was Continue reading Smugglers Festival

Three Tenors

 The website has been quiet of late, mainly because the workshop has been busy! Andy’s and Ian’s Concert models have been delivered, along with the completion a couple of project instruments, a Bass Cuatrolele or Q-Bass (whichever you want to call it!) and an 8 string tenor which can be seen on the left in this image. Despite both being 1st build pattern models as far as we are concerned, the results have been particularly pleasing, both in Continue reading Three Tenors

Pure Craft Market

We’ve had a busy weekend at the Craft Village, preparing for and running our first Pure Craft Market.

The idea was to promote not just the Craft Village, but also Pure Crafts rather than the ‘gift’ fairs that have spread across the County, and probably the Country!

Everything on display (and for sale) has been hand crafted by local crafters, not just those resident in the village, but invited others also. It turned out to be quite a successful day! :)

Living Water Strings

Ken Middleton, ukulele player extraordinaire, and a well known figure in the world of Ukuleles, has produced his own range of Ukulele strings. He swears by them, and I have always respected the gentleman. But is he, in this case, a little biased?

All the Ukes we produce are fitted with Aquila ‘Nylgut’ strings as standard. They are popular, sound good and are made in Europe rather than the Far East. Ken’s strings, however, proclaim to be ‘Made in Heaven’, although I understand that that is somewhere in England!

So, the only fair thing to do was to give them a try. Using a Tenor cutaway Uke finished recently, which has quite Continue reading Living Water Strings

Shop made.

‘Rope’ Binding

A question I’ve been asked a number of times recently is whether I buy in or make the ‘rope’ binding that adorns some of the instruments that we build. Well, buying in would almost certainly violate the concept of building instruments with locally sourced timber. Therefore the answer is that we make our own.  It appears, however, that the majority of Luthiers Continue reading Shop made.

Planning

In the Craft Village, Crafters plan a monthly Pure Craft Fair, which will probably be held on the first Saturday of each month, commencing in September. Pure Craft means that there will be no stalls with bought-in tat from afar. The majority of Craft Fairs seem to be inundated with these type of stands, which have nothing at all to do with the word or concept of Craft!

On the bench

On the bench in our Craft Workshop this week has been Andy’s Concert Uke, with Walnut body, Maple neck and cedar soundboard and he is saving a few shillings by collecting it unfinished, ready to apply the shiny stuff himself. Alongside is another concert neck, this time for Ian’s Concert, which is similar to Andy’s but with a flat headstock to take geared peg tuners. Ian has come up with his own design for a soundhole, which should be interesting to execute. :)

There is also the body for an experimental Q-Bass Ukulele, a project I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I might also try an eight string Tenor, perhaps in all European Maple, just for the fun of it. In the meantime, going to chase up some Yew that I’ve been having cut up for me.

Quex Instruments maker, purveyor of local timber artifacts