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YogiTom
04-15-2019, 09:07 AM
Now that Chuck Moore is no longer taking custom orders, I was wondering who else amongst the active custom luthiers do people love for not just their builds but for their inlay work as well?

Iíve come to realize a custom uke will likely be my last big purchase (famous last words) and have some pretty intricate design asks for the inlays on this dream build of mine. Likely inlays in the headstock, fingerboard, rosette and likely some extension from rosette onto the top.

Ideally Iíd like to go with someone in the US for ease of shipping, but other suggestions are welcome, too.

Thanks in advance for any and all opinions and suggestions!

Kenn2018
04-15-2019, 09:22 AM
Aaron Oya of Kapolei, HI does some lovely stuff. Elegant work.

He has done inlays for all of the K-brands and, I think, Taylor and Martin guitars.

Makes really nice instruments as well.

Joyful Uke
04-15-2019, 09:29 AM
I thought that Kinnard did custom inlays, but don't see it specifically their website. But, it would be easy enough to contact them to check on that, if you are considering a Kinnard.

IMO, it would be important to know which custom builder(s) you like first, and then check and see which can do the inlay for you. With something that special, you would want the ukulele to be what you want, along with the inlay.

YogiTom
04-15-2019, 09:35 AM
I thought that Kinnard did custom inlays, but don't see it specifically their website. But, it would be easy enough to contact them to check on that, if you are considering a Kinnard.

IMO, it would be important to know which custom builder(s) you like first, and then check and see which can do the inlay for you. With something that special, you would want the ukulele to be what you want, along with the inlay.

Totally agree. I want to love the sound and feel as much as the looks.

Top of my list are Beau Hamman, Kinnard, and Hive, but I wanted to know what might be possible with the latter two. Love the sound samples I’ve heard of all of these, but would love other opinions!

YogiTom
04-15-2019, 09:37 AM
Aaron Oya of Kapolei, HI does some lovely stuff. Elegant work.

He has done inlays for all of the K-brands and, I think, Taylor and Martin guitars.

Makes really nice instruments as well.


I’ll check him out, thanks!

kerneltime
04-15-2019, 11:45 AM
Beau Hannam does do inlay work.
You can also have a inlay artist work with your luthier of choice

mountain goat
04-15-2019, 12:51 PM
some other builders you might like to consider:

Michael Smith @ Goat Rock Ukuleles
Peter Hurney @ Pohaku Ukuleles
Allen McFarlen @ Barron River Ukuleles
Tom Molstad @ Bird on a Wire Stringed Instruments

- all the above are in the USA, except for Allen who is in Australia.

YogiTom
04-15-2019, 01:49 PM
Beau Hannam does do inlay work.
You can also have a inlay artist work with your luthier of choice

I spoke with Beau a bit via email (super friendly and open), and he recommended Larry Robinson as an inlay artist for more detailed or intensive inlays.


some other builders you might like to consider:

Michael Smith @ Goat Rock Ukuleles
Peter Hurney @ Pohaku Ukuleles
Allen McFarlen @ Barron River Ukuleles
Tom Molstad @ Bird on a Wire Stringed Instruments

- all the above are in the USA, except for Allen who is in Australia.

Awesome, thank you!

saltytri
04-15-2019, 02:15 PM
Also, Dave Sigman does beautiful work.

http://www.littleriverukuleles.com

YogiTom
04-15-2019, 04:51 PM
Probably every maker you can think of can find a great inlay artist to partner with. You just have to be prepared to pay the bill.
It is possible for any maker to access the best inlay artists on the planet. Its just a matter of logistics and cost. You just need the ukulele maker to set up a "blank" to send out to the inlay artist.

Great point, and may be the route to go in this case. Time to start saving for the extra bling!


Also, Dave Sigman does beautiful work.

http://www.littleriverukuleles.com

Thanks for the link. He’s practically in my backyard! Very cool headstock designs.

And I will say, I do love your work as well. Too many great builders, not enough time or $$.

hawaii 50
04-15-2019, 05:34 PM
Also, Dave Sigman does beautiful work.

http://www.littleriverukuleles.com
Yep David I think Dave is one of the better custom inlay guys around...he does all the inlays by hand no CNC and his ukes sound good too..:)
Aaron Oya does some beautiful work too...all by hand

not too many builders are doing inlays by hand anymore..most send out to Larry Robinson

Kekani
04-15-2019, 07:00 PM
Aaron Oya of Kapolei, HI does some lovely stuff. Elegant work.

He has done inlays for all of the K-brands and, I think, Taylor and Martin guitars.

Makes really nice instruments as well.

Thanks Kenn, but no guitar factories. Yes, I have worked with John and Casey on some projects, and a lot with Paul and his crew, especially Griz. Joe and I discussed some stuff, but heís Cnc equipped and does his own stuff.

Havenít done inlays in awhile (though I have 2 on the bench), preferring to focus on tweaking my building process, which is now where I want to be. Andrew should be getting one soon.

For the OP, I view inlay artists like tattoo artists, and would match the artwork to the artist. That said, Larry wrote the book, literally. I expanded when I studied Grit and Harvey, but Craig Lavin has been one of my favorites. Maybe because of his marine background.

YogiTom
04-15-2019, 07:07 PM
Thanks Kenn, but no guitar factories. Yes, I have worked with John and Casey on some projects, and a lot with Paul and his crew, especially Griz. Joe and I discussed some stuff, but he’s Cnc equipped and does his own stuff.

Haven’t done inlays in awhile (though I have 2 on the bench), preferring to focus on tweaking my building process, which is now where I want to be. Andrew should be getting one soon.

For the OP, I view inlay artists like tattoo artists, and would match the artwork to the artist. That said, Larry wrote the book, literally. I expanded when I studied Grit and Harvey, but Craig Lavin has been one of my favorites. Maybe because of his marine background.

I’ll keep my eyes peeled on HMS’s site for that new uke!

And Craig Lavin was Beau’s other recommendation.

Great point on the tattoo artist analogy. And like a tattoo, it’ll likely only be meaningful to me, so I’d better enjoy the artist’s aesthetic.

lfoo6952
04-16-2019, 10:26 AM
Hi Yogi:

Agree with others who recommend Larry Robinson. He is practically in your backyard. Another Californian is Jimmi Wingert. She did the inlay work on one of my guitars.

Luke