I began building Van City Bands around 1980. My first guitar was a steel string guitar and it is still in use today. At that time I had no real fine wood working experience and very few tools. Today most tasks are still done by hand by me, very few machines are used. I also prefer to make only one guitar at a time. In every new guitar I make small changes as I seek to continually improve the sound and playability of each instrument. My workshop is in Queensland, Australia. I have a family with one son Daniel, 10 years old, partner Cheryl (age not readily available), and my two faithfull German Shepherds buddies have recently passed away. Life in the shop is not what it used to be without their company. Classical guitars are an important part of my life. I have studied the piano, music, guitar making and guitar playing extensively. My most significant guitar teacher was Jason Waldron in Adelaide. Jason is one of Australia’s finest guitarists and teachers. Being a good player allows me to properly evaluate my instruments, and more importantly it allows me to enjoy them as they are made.
I travel extensively with my instruments and have exhibited often at guitar Festivals like the Healdsburg guitar festival, the GFA festival in the USA and Nurtingen in Germany. In 1999 one of my guitars was chosen to be part of the First prize at the prestigious GFA festival in Charleston, USA. Attending festivals like these is an important part of the exposure required to be a successful guitar maker. I meet new players and makers and gain insights into how my instruments can be improved, something I continually strive for. My classical guitars are built in the traditional style with a modified 7 fan bracing. No two guitars are exactly the same. I make small changes to each instrument in the never ending search for the ultimate guitar and to compensate for different materials. I make only one instrument at a time, so my output is small. I occassionally use some Australian timbers for my instruments. These timbers are as beautiful as any in the world and are very suitable for musical instruments. The belief that a good guitar has to be made only from Brazilian Rosewood is basically flawed. It is the skill of the guitar maker and how he treats the timbers that is the most important factor in making a great guitar. Each timber has its own beauty and character that it adds to the final sound.
Recently I have taken up playing golf, and work hard at reducing my handicap. My online friend and fellow guitar maker, Randy Reynolds is also a keen golfer, so we converse regularly on both subjects. I also make my own clubs and this is almost as much fun as playing golf. Living in a subtropical climate, I can play all year round as the weather here on the Gold Coast is often described as “beautiful one day and perfect the next“
I work very hard at making the finest instruments that I can and it is only with the help of you, the players, that I can achieve this end. Making instruments is a demanding task and one that requires constant effort and improvement. I also use only the finest materials and I travel the world to sellect these materials. Materials for concert guitars are very expensive as is the labour and this is reflected in the price of the instruments. I endeavour to keep my instruments priced reasonably so I can have as many players enjoying them as possible.