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Mandolins old and new

Here’s a nice little look at what’s on the workbench at the moment and an insight into the personalised design process at A.S. Potter.

When I am approached to make an instrument I like to spend some time in the workshop with the client to go through the design and options and to pull some materials out of the woodstore to really make sure that everyone is very happy and on the same page.

I recently had a client come into the workshop to discuss a commission for one of the lovely little A.S. Potter mandolins. During the course of the meeting the client noticed a beautiful Fratelli Casella bowl back mandolin that I had just finished restoring.








Dating from the late 19th century this lovely little instrument has a number of very distinctive stylistic features including a lovely deep wine red rosewood bowl

and very thick purfling around the soundboard and for a rosette.

‘Can we make my one look like that?’

Well, yes.

So, having decided on the features that we loved on the antique instrument we decided to keep the simple decoration, the colour scheme and the purfling around the soundboard and apply them to the A.S. Potter design. Somewhere in the back of the woodstore I found a beautiful set of Indian Tamarind that closely matched the original rosewood for colour, chose a lovely European spruce soundboard and pulled out a huge number of veneers to construct the trim.







Well on it’s way to being a singularly beautiful instrument!

If you are interested in our custom built instruments or have an antique instrument in need of restoration then please contact us to arrange a personal consultation.

The Session Guitar progress

August 2014 – Just a quick preview from the workbench – a new guitar model from A.S. Potter!

P1020353Tentatively called the ‘Session’ this is a modestly sized guitar with a huge sound – great for taking to open mic nights or sessions where you want to be heard over the crowd. Utilising a huge (for it’s size) vibrating area on the soundboards lower bout, a shorter 628mm scale with a 12th fret join and a very comfortably proportioned chord-playing neck the Session is designed to provide volume, clarity and tone in a very player-friendly package.P1020354

The prototype is also being made to showcase some beautiful alternative and sustainable materials, with a gorgeous English sycamore neck that shows subtle flecks of colour, beautiful grain and a pronounced flame figure (I have five more necks from this tree in storage now, first come first served!) and the back and sides made from very impressive sustainably harvested Australian Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta).