The Workshop

I operate a small workship producing high quality instruments, individually hand crafted to a very high standard, musically and aesthetically.  I take great pride in careful craftsmanship. The main lesson of the mid 20th Century revival of building early keyboards is that the more makers returned to the designs, practices and techniques of the originals the better the instruments they produced.  Consequently, all my instruments are based on historical models, known for their fine quality sound.  In building my instruments I follow as closely as possible historical principles of design and construction, without slavishly copying.  The actions of both the harpsichords and the fortepianos replicate as closely as possible the originals, making them very responsive to the players touch.

The instruments are built with the woods that are traditional to the early building practices.  There are absolutely no modern fabricated wood products anywhere in the instruments.  The soundboard wood, in particular, is carefully selected: high quality white spruce slowly grown in the upper forest reaches of Canton Graubunden in Switzerland, or comparable locations.  All jacks are made of pear or service wood with holly tongues, meticulously produced by Adam Swainson (www.swainson.com).

The delrin plectra are the only concession to modern materials, but quills can be provided upon request.  The keyboards are normally topped with bone and ebony, or bog oak, and the traditional brassware is provided by D L Law (www.traditionalbrassware.co.uk).  The soundboards, where appropriate, are decorated with flowers, birds and insects in contemporary fashion, but the layout is freely designed and not copied.

In my workshop I also undertake renovations, repairs and servicing of both harpsichords and fortepianos and related instruments.

I will happily entertain request for building instruments not listed, depending on availability of plans.  I have a varied collection of drawings, including instruments by Christian Zell and Thomas Hitchcock.