A good instrument demands good materials. All my timbers are carefully chosen for their intended purpose and stored for at least twelve months in a climate controlled environment before use. Some I have stored for ten years or more, even though they may have been kiln dried when originally sourced. Timber that is freshly force dried in a kiln is often internally highly stressed. Over zealous kiln drying by suppliers keen to get stock out of the door often results in case hardened stock that is unstable and unpredictable.

It takes the experience of building many instruments to understand how different materials react with one another to produce the tonal colouring of a finished instrument. I tend not to use lavishly figured or ornate materials for acoustic instruments. With careful and considered design, I try to select materials that work together to produce an instrument with stunning visual appeal and balance, an instrument that sings to you, rather than shouts.

Other than preparatory work of raw materials I prefer to build my acoustic instruments with little intervention of heavy machinery. Traditional handwork may be slower than more modern or component based production but it does allow far greater flexibility and choice to fit the task in hand, ultimately resulting in a superior instrument.