Named after Abbeys near ancient woodland, I designed these electric mandolins for those wanting to play traditional music in situations where amplification of an acoustic instrument could be challenging. The solid body drastically reduces the chances of feedback, whilst the glued in neck ensures none of the richness of the tonewood is lost. A custom built pickup produces a clean, bright sound reminiscent of an acoustic mandolin.
They are finished with several light coats of oils, followed by a blend of beeswax and walnut oil. The result is very organic and allows the natural grain and beauty of the wood to be felt, as well as seen – think traditional violin, rather than modern, high-gloss guitar finish. It’s also much better for the environment, and whilst it doesn’t produce the super hard, plastic-like coating of modern lacquers, it is easily maintained and will acquire a natural warmth and patina over the years, which many find aesthetically pleasing in an instrument as it ages.
I build each mandolin myself, from start to finish, with a focus on using traditional hand tools, some close to 100 years old, others passed down to me by my father. This approach limits my output, especially if I have lots of repair work booked in, but it does mean that each mandolin is produced with the care and attention to detail you would expect in a hand built instrument.
The various models in the Woodland Range are listed below. If I currently have a particular model available you can click through to see photos and listen to short demo videos.
Named after Launde Abbey in the heart of England, located next to the ancient clay woodland of Launde Big Wood. This particular instrument has a Western Red Cedar pickup plate and rear cover.
Named after Dryburgh Abbey, on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders.
Named after Launde Abbey in the heart of England, located next to the ancient clay woodland of Launde Big Wood. This particular instrument has a Sapele pickup plate and rear cover.
Named after Durrow Abbey in County Offaly, Ireland, which was founded by St Columba in the 6th century. Originally Daru, the name means ‘plain of oaks’ and it is the location of some of the only remaining pre-medieval oak in Ireland.
Glastonbury – Walnut and Rosewood
Named after Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset, where folklore says a miraculous walnut tree grew on the north side of St Joseph’s Chapel. Coming soon!
Buckland – Maple and Rosewood
Named after Buckland Abbey in Devon, located next to ancient woodland through which the River Tavy winds its way south. Coming soon!