View Full Version : The next challenge...

Pete Howlett
05-01-2015, 04:32 AM
My call for 3 interns over the next 3 years was correct - I have just been diagnosed with Parkinsons Condition... So here it is again - I need help to work through my wood pile and build the last 325 instruments. This is an unpaid apprenticeship and would suit anyone who has an income, already has some skills but wants my spot in the ukulele maker food chain. Please get in touch. This really is a once in a lifetime offer - help build 100 landmark instruments in a year, learn everything I know and earn you place in the history books (haha...)

05-01-2015, 04:54 AM
Good for the interns, not so good for you personally—sorry to hear about the diagnosis. It should remind us all that time is short and we need to slow down and use it wisely. I think now's the time to raise your prices:)

05-01-2015, 07:46 AM
Sorry to hear about it Pete- I hope you can get some help and get those last instruments built! The knowledge in your brain and that amazing wood stash deserve to be put to use!

05-01-2015, 07:58 AM
Sorry to hear the diagnosis Pete. Stay hopeful for some new treatment. I hope you can find some good interns to continue building your top notch ukuleles

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-01-2015, 08:41 AM
That's tough Pete, sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Being incapacitated by arthritis, Parkinsons, etc is every builders worst nightmare. After you get all the instruments built that you want you can turn your attention to teaching or writing if that's your desire.

05-01-2015, 08:57 AM
Sorry Pete. You have my sympathy. I too have developed a severe neurological condition which forces me to work from a wheelchair or a mobility cart. This means everything must be done from a sitting position and takes twice as long. I have learned to adapt (still can be frustrating at times) and find that building ukes is good for my morale. I would encourage you to stay with it as much as your condition allows and I'm sure you will get plenty of people that want that intern position.

Dan Uke
05-01-2015, 09:09 AM
Sorry to hear that as well. Is your son interested in building at all?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-01-2015, 09:11 AM
Sorry to hear that as well. Is your son interested in building at all?

Why would you wish this business on your kids? ;)

05-01-2015, 09:18 AM
So sorry to hear Pete, that is a tough break.
I wish you all the best!

05-01-2015, 12:48 PM
Pete --

Sorry to hear about this. A piece of unsolicited advice: get as far ahead of the disease as you can. Work on exercises that will help your balance and flexibility. Parkinson's will take it away, but the longer you can delay it, the better. It might sound goofy, but tai chi and yoga are both good. There are meds and surgery, but the exercises do seem to help a lot of folks.

05-01-2015, 12:58 PM
Hi Pete,

Sorry to read about your diagnosis... I wish you well being for future times.

The internship sounds interesting, would you consider allowing an understudy to work for free with yourself for one week or two weeks during summer vacation? If yes, I would appreciate the guidance and expert tuition.

Michael Smith
05-01-2015, 03:55 PM
My hopes and prayers that your conditions effects your life as little as possible. My father had it and it stabilized, he was able to still putter away making stained glass windows.

Pete Howlett
05-01-2015, 05:27 PM
That is what I am hoping Michael.... early days yet but I am making preparations way ahead of the eventuality.

Habanera Hal
05-02-2015, 06:18 AM
My prayers are with you Pete. Hope you can keep at it as long as you want. Your videos and posts have given us all so much to make us better luthiers. I wish an internship was viable for me but alas, is not. Good luck and good health.

05-02-2015, 11:24 AM
Sorry to hear your bad news. I think the internship idea is tremendous and a great way to extend your legacy as a luthier beyond the many fine instruments.

05-03-2015, 11:02 PM
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, Pete. I hope that however Parkinson's manifests in you (my dad was diagnosed a few years ago with "atypical Parkinsonism"; for many years it had manifested almost exclusively in balance issues), you're able to continue to build for a long time while passing along your knowledge and craft to others.

Pete Howlett
05-04-2015, 12:05 AM
As much as I would like to work on 'through it' I need to follow another path. For 41 years my wife has supported me in my endeavours. I had hoped that I could repay her devotion after she retired and got out her extensive to-do list. Such is the condition that its progressive nature will have an impact on her plans hence the offer of the internships which I might add, are looking like they can be part funded by a bursary. More attractive proposition no?

05-04-2015, 04:55 AM
I would jump on this if I had a way to support myself in Wales or get there for that matter. But i don't think that it would be freezable right now.

05-04-2015, 06:35 AM
I’m at an age where my productive years are numbered and have also thought passing on what I have learned. There might be other possibilities beyond finding a qualified intern--which is hard to do. Most aspiring luthiers ("I’ve always wanted to build a guitar" crowd) have little real woodworking experience even if they have attended a school, and teaching the basics might not what you want to do. For a short time, I had a carpenter I knew work in the shop, and was very impressed at how fast he got up to speed. I’m always looking for possibilities too and will pass on anything that comes up.

Pete Howlett
05-04-2015, 06:46 AM
Alan Peters the famous British designer woodworker/English cabinet maker said he would employ a 'joiner' (step between carpenter and cabinetmaker)over a cabinet/furniture maker any day. It would be a real gift if I could find someone who wanted a career change. I found through my courses that the most able are usually mature and settled, have good listening and thinking skills and assimilate tasks very quickly. The worst are those who have done a bit of building and think they are there to tell me how its done. The generally waste the first 2 days of a 5 day course trying to tell me how to teach them! They break eventually :)

05-04-2015, 08:10 PM
I'm seeing something like "The Intern". A reality show where three interns show up to learn how to build ukuleles. Only one will be chosen. I would watch. It could be huge. Educational and entertaining at the same time. Think of the possibilities. Now just to get somebody to film it. I'm serious. This would be a lot of fun.

05-05-2015, 02:19 AM
Pete, I wish you well in this part of journey.