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Pete Howlett
09-02-2008, 09:59 AM
Unlike the US, here in the UK builders like myself have very few opportunities to show their work. Next weekend is the Cheltenham Acoustic Guitar Show and I am the only ukulele maker exhibiting. Cool huh. Here are some of the instruments getting their final detailing:

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f352/ukulele_pete/CheltShow.jpg

Out of shot are Resolele, Cobncert Uklectic with psycho koa top, mahogany tenor with bling, 3 sopranos and some kits... not much sleep to be had for the next 10 days.

Jimmy
09-02-2008, 10:04 AM
Wow, I wish I could be over there. There's even less chance to see some quality ukuleles over here in Northern Ireland than in the mainland UK. Good luck, Pete!

pnj
09-02-2008, 10:12 AM
Great looking stuff. I love the videos I've seen of you. Do you have a site that has the vids all together in one place? I'd love to be able to watch them all.

Congrats on the upcoming show.

AshleyB
09-02-2008, 10:12 AM
sweet!! I live in the midlands, will try and get their on the saturday

uluapoundr
09-02-2008, 11:46 AM
Nice stuff Pete, keep the pics coming, feeds our UAS:D

HI@heart
09-04-2008, 01:37 PM
Gorgeous selection of koa Pete. Thanks for sharing your work.

Pete Howlett
09-04-2008, 02:59 PM
About 8 years ago my friend Collier Thelan, owner of Music Exchange in Hilo and Volcano said he was investing in wood futures. Following his lead I have virtually maxed out all of my credit cards in persuit of koa - I now have about 500 sets... should keep me going for a while don't you think? And the best is yet to come:cool:

UkeNinja
09-04-2008, 03:02 PM
I hope you will blow their heads off with your selection of ukuleles. Is the show too small for ukulele builders to notice, are there no builders except yourself in the UK, did you make sure the others all had belly trouble (that is a joke!)?
Don't know if this is smart marketingwise, but getting a few people in contact with each other and building momentum might be good timing now that the ukulele is growing ever bigger.

Pete Howlett
09-04-2008, 03:08 PM
To my knowledge I am the only exclusive ukulele builder in the UK - I don't build any other instruments.

rabbit
09-04-2008, 05:59 PM
Beautiful work!

I wish you success at the show.
I've been to the show in Northern Calif.
twice, an international event, and it was
just swell. Wish I could attend w/you. Enjoy.

HI@heart
09-04-2008, 06:31 PM
About 8 years ago my friend Collier Thelan, owner of Music Exchange in Hilo and Volcano said he was investing in wood futures. Following his lead I have virtually maxed out all of my credit cards in persuit of koa - I now have about 500 sets... should keep me going for a while don't you think? And the best is yet to come:cool:

A person with an eye for the future. And a beautiful one at that! Can't wait to see what will come Pete. I'm sure wherever you show you will drop jaws.

Pete Howlett
09-05-2008, 12:02 AM
I have been dropping jaws for 14 years now - I first exported to Hawaii as a small batch builder. Collier sent me the wood (100 sets at a time) and I returned it as finished ukulele; about 8 per month. These were almost exclusively 6 and 8 string tenors with slotted headstocks and Schaller mandolin tuners. They were bought by serious players not tourists and this is how it normally played out in the stores:
Serious musician: "Let's have a look at that one. I haven't seen this make before. Made in Wales UK you say? That's really cool. Like the headstock and tuners. How much? Man that's value, I'll take it."
Tourist: "I've played everyone in the store and this sounds the best. (Collier smiles and gives a warm chuckle) Where was it made? Wales UK you say...oh! I want one made in Hawaii. (Customer buys inferior uke)
Island luthiers: "Who that guy you got building for you Collier? He's a prostitute man! (refering to my building volume) Don't he ever sleep?"

tripl3thr33
09-05-2008, 07:48 AM
haha i love that last comment pete. is that a solid body uke in the front? it looks really nice :) I was reading your building process on your site and it's because of people like you, who have so much passion in building an instrument, that makes me want to build my own uke someday. keep it up :)

acabooe
09-07-2008, 08:43 AM
Great job Pete,

They all look beautiful.
Aloha
Bob

tshirtandties
01-22-2009, 06:16 AM
yo i live in the midlands too,tamworth :)

Lanark
01-23-2009, 03:17 AM
I hope nothing in that picture comes home with you.
Enjoy the show.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-23-2009, 05:43 AM
Inferior ukes from Hawaii? Are you really sure you meant to say that Pete? Good thing you've already got all the koa you need :)
All that aside, have a successful show.

Pete Howlett
01-23-2009, 07:25 AM
Believe it or not, at the time there was only Maui Music and Kamaka - in 1994 both of those businesses took quite a cavalier attitude to production and quality control and it's why Collier commissioned me to small batch produce. Since then, eveyone has wised up and the quality is so much better all round, there are more businesses small batch producing and it's an altogether different scene than it was then.

I was building production ukulele and competing at that level - no custom builds, bling or binding. It was usual to see Kakama necks badly fitted, and poor finishing but as always - great sound. Collier was forever sending stuff back because of lack of quality control. Also 14 years ago, the build aesthetic that you have today just wasn't there - not my words but Mr Thelen's. We have to thank Bob Taylor, Bill Collings and that Hoover guy for forcing us to look inside the instruments as well as outside and this increase in craftsmanship and quality forced the ukulele makers to do the same...

The show was ages ago folks and it was a pointless exercise as usual - British shows are so unlike those in the US where people are buzzing, there is a buying and trading vibe and you go to make and spend spend money.I think of the exhibitors only 2 or 3 sold instruments and the only guy doiong business was a wood salesman...

one80
01-27-2009, 12:22 PM
your ukuleles are amazing!
its such an honour to have met you and seen you in action.
I hope this is an oppertunity to convert people to the ukulele. Why wouldnt they!? When they can play such amazing instruments.
good luck

Sam