A course in lute making took place in David Van Edwards' workshop in Norwich, England from Sunday 22nd August to Saturday 28th August 1999.

Workshop picture

The Workshop

The central idea of this workshop course was to work together as a group to produce one 6 course lute for the English Lute Society to use as a hire instrument. This is a brief report on a successful mission.


This is most of the group gathered round the complete set of wood necessary to make the lute! We hope it will look quite different at the end, but no-one can be sure!
From left to right: David; Nick from Ashby de la Zouch, England; Rachel from Montpellier, France; Peter from Montpellier, France; Denny from St. Louis, USA; Thea from Norwich; Richard from Staithes, England. Still to arrive is Olivier from Nice, France

At work!

Nick in the foreground gluing on a rib, Rachel behind him and, clearly already climbing the wall, Olivier!

At work!

Peter working on pegs

At work!

Rachel polishing pegs on a buffing wheel

At work!

Denny cutting the rose design into the soundboard

At work!

Richard doing something fiddly!

Final ribs

The back is coming on nicely

At work!

Olivier making notes in the courtyard at tea-time

Cleaning up

Scraping off the excess glue after cramping on the bars.

At work!

Halfway through the week and it begins to look possible!

At table

Amazing how conversation freezes when a camera appears! But in spite of appearances here, we all had a very jolly time during wonderful meals cooked by Thea.


This, perhaps, gives more indication of the spirit of the evenings!

At rest!

Thea during a brief lull in the catering!


Denny holding the half-made lute, the bridge is being glued on in the background. The tutor looks somewhat wild-eyed by now.


The completed lute held by Peter. Thank you for the photo, Richard.


Just to prove it, everyone signed the label inside the lute.


Success! The final picture of the course. The completed lute surrounded by the tired and happy band!


The hand-over at the Lute Society meeting in the Art Workers' Guild. Nick is explaining how it all came about.


The completed lute being played for the first time in public by Nick at the Lute Society meeting.

The whole enterprise seems to have been a great success, so much so that we are currently making plans to do it again next summer, this time making a 13 course German baroque lute. Being larger it may take ten days rather than seven.

If you are interested in being part of next year's exhausting extravaganza, please send me an

and I'll put you on the mailing list for further details.

Report on 2000 summer schoolReport on 2001 summer school
Report on 2002 summer schoolReport on 2003 summer school
Report on 2005 summer schoolReport on 2006 summer school
Copyright 1999 by David Van Edwards