My family and I live on 40 wooded acres, along Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy shore. Twice daily, the world's highest tides rise up and down over 50 feet, ensuring a refreshing climate and somehow eliminating those nasty mosquitoes and black flies. Our woods are full of Red Spruce, Curly Maple and Ash; three of the essential woods for luthiers. I personally select most of my trees, cutting and splitting the logs into instrument blanks. Each piece is then air-dried for several years before the final drying in a solar-kiln.
I've been a woodworker all my life, so when I was unable to afford or locate the instruments I needed I began to construct them. The first was a cittern, for a Celtic band I was in at the time. For the next 10 years I operated "Oldtree Instruments", focusing on stringed instrument repairs and building F-5 mandolins. A 4-year summer stint on a cruise boat opened my eyes to the possibilities of a lightweight electric violin and once again used my own resources to design and build a better "mousetrap". When sales of the Vector Violins began to take off I closed down the repair business and concentrated on producing a line of electric stringed instruments.
It's now over 20 years since that first cittern (which I still play and record with) but I still get excited about every instrument that I design and build. I consider it a blessing to spend my days in a cloud of sawdust, working with wood. It's an honor to be able to help each musician, no matter what their level, to attain their personal goals.
I'm ably assisted in this endeavor by my partner Midge, who handles the accounting and paperwork, and answers the phone with her charming British accent. Our children will hopefully one day work alongside us. If you plan on visiting our neck of the woods, please consider dropping by for a visit!