Tassie timber strikes a chord

Making a tenor vice kevin llincoln of christmas hills tim spittle of wa lutherie workshop

Tassie timber strikes a chord

AUGUST 2016 | Chere Kenyon

THE FIRST ukulele Kevin Lincoln made at Tim Spittle’s Lutherie workshop has had him hooked on making wooden stringed musical instruments ever since.

Tim, a native of Western Australia and an experienced secondary technology schoolteacher and business owner, has been holding these workshops in Tasmania for about 4 years.

Kevin, of Christmas Hills is one of his earliest Tasmanian students, and has been his workshop assistant ever since.

This July, the first Deloraine Lutherie workshop was held as Tim moved his Ukulele and Guitar-making workshops to their new home.

Tim added, “We wanted a more central location (in Tasmania) and thought Deloraine was the perfect spot and we found a good location at the Empire Hotel.”

Tim intends to hold two ten-day Lutherie workshops in Deloraine a year; mainly focussing on the use of Tasmanian timbers such as Blackwood, Sassafras, King Billy, Celery Top Pine, Silver Wattle and Huon Pine.

Small class sizes enable personalised attention as he recognises that people have different skill levels and needs.

His students have ranged from musicians to people who have never played a musical instrument and those who like to work with wood.

Pat Hawkins of Ulverstone was completing his second course this July as he “got hooked on the first occasion, doing a workshop at Stanley making a tenor ukulele,” given the wonderful time with friends he had.

“I could not resist the temptation to come back, meet new friends and enjoy two weeks of wood work,” he added, endorsing Tim’s goal of “people being happy and excited at the end of the journey”.

“Students often say… ‘I never thought I could finish this’ or ‘I never thought I had the ability to do that’. They start by saying this is just too much. Then the components gradually come together,” Tim shared.

He finds it gratifying to see his students leave contented and strumming on their instruments. The next workshop in January is quickly filling up.  Book online through australiantonewoods.com.

You may also catch up with Tim at this year’s Tasmanian Craft Fair.

Mike Moores