Manufacture – man-yə-‘fak-chər
(From Latin manu y factura, literally meaning handmade)
Something made from raw materials by hand and by machine.
Nic Delisle, Guitarmaker
The Island Instrument Manufacture is a one-man operation that came into its own after a chance-encounter with Lenny P. Robert which led to a two year apprenticeship at Daddy Mojo Stringed Instruments. My venture into the craft began when a two-year stint at University left me frustrated with the education system and disillusioned with the medium I was studying. I found myself left with a longing to create something tangible, with my hands that would transcend my time on Earth. This combined with my long withstanding passion for musical instruments naturally led me to guitarmaking. Everyday I spend in the shop is a reminder of my limitations and a challenge to surpass them. The guitar has not been ultimately defined – there is a long and rich future ahead of it. The infinite room for learning experiences and personal growth is one reason I build guitars.
The name Island Instrument Manufacture is a reflection on the current state of production. As North American manufacture continues to head overseas, more and more craft and tradesmen find themselves without work. I firmly believe this needs to change, and it is a principle that permeates all aspects of my production. I use almost exclusively hardware, components and accessories manufactured in North America, often to my spec. The endless possibility for collaboration with other talented artists and craftsmen is one aspect of the craft that excites me most.
I am also concerned about the ecological footprint we leave. While it is minimal for the individual builder, I still believe it is the responsibility of everybody to take care of our planet and its resources. I prefer to build exclusively with domestic, salvaged and reclaimed timbers. I do have a small stock of exotic hardwoods, and when they find their way into a build, I will donate a percentage of the sale to an organization supporting sustainable forestry management. For the same reasons, I prefer to use natural hand-rubbed oil and French polish of shellac finishes. Varnishes are also available.
My instruments are meticulously handcrafted in the Mile End Guitar Shop in Montreal, Quebec (Canada). The shop is a collective workspace that is home to a number of acoustic instrument builders including Jeremy Clark of the 52 Instrument Co., Mike Kennedy of Indian Hill Guitars, and formerly, Dion Bews of Dion Guitars. Sharing a space with such talent means that there is a wealth of knowledge and information available to me, enriching the building experience. There is a constant discourse, and through collective experimentation, the exchange of ideas and information, each subsequent instrument I build increases exponentially in quality.