A course in lute making took place in David Van Edwards' workshop in Norwich, England from Saturday 22nd July to Sunday 30th July 2000.

Workshop picture

The Workshop

The central idea of this workshop course was to work together as a group to produce one 13 course German baroque lute for the English Lute Society to use as a hire instrument. This is a brief report on a tiring but 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 quite sure!
From left to right: Njål Bendixen from Denmark, Philippe Mottet-Rio from Switzerland, David, Nick Gravestock from Ashby de la Zouch, England, Ian Clark from Maidstone, England, Thea from Norwich, England. Still to arrive is Chris Goodwin from Guildford, England

At work!

Philippe checking the bend on the second rib

At work!

Njål working on the bridge

At work!

Ian fitting the third rib

At work!

Njål carving out the pegboxes in the foreground while Philippe cuts the rose in the background

At work!

Nick fits the fifth rib to the mould

At work!

Chris, the Lute Society Secretary, turns a peg. One of the 24 needed!

At work!

Ian starting to carve the decoration on the back of the extended pegbox

At work!

Philippe taking his turn carving the rose

At work!

This may look to be an easy option shaving down the pegs, but look at the tray of pegs still to be done!

At work!

Working late into the night, Philippe glues on the last rib of the body

At table!

It was not all work though. Thea cooked the most delicious meals which were beautifully presented.

At play!

Music-making in the evening rounded out a complete immersion in the world of the lute.

At play

And the acohol consumption meant it was a good thing that everyone was within walking distance of their beds!

At work!

Ian scraping the inside of the completed shell ready for the inner liner.

At work!

Chris glues the bone pips into the ends of the pegs while Ian prepares to glue in the inner liner.(The French have a proper word for this: "contre-brague" but it doesn't seem to have acquired one in English.)

At work!

The carved sycamore pegbox being stained black.

At work!

Njål marking the ends of the fitted pegs prior to cutting them to length.

At work!

Philippe cleaning off the excess glue from round the bridge.

At work!

David demonstrating how the pegbox is glued in place.

At work!

It's been a hard week's work, Njål's yawn is caught on camera!


Success! The final picture of the course. The completed lute surrounded by the tired and happy band! Again Chris is missing because he had to leave early to try and catch up with Lute Society correspondence. Actually this photo is slightly odd, see if you can spot why. A spare lute peg to the first person, not in on the secret, to email me the correct answer!

The winner of the competition is Ronny Andersson! The answer is that Thea has been pasted in from another photo. We knew that she had to leave an hour before the lute was ready for its final picture, so we photographed Thea from a set position near the table, drew round her feet with chalk and then in the group photo everyone else stood either side of the chalk marks. However in the interval the sun had come out for a rare visit which meant that everyone else cast a shadow, so I had to draw in a shadow from Thea as well.

Well done Ronny, your peg is on its way!

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 maybe making a theorbo!.

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 1999 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 2006 by David Van Edwards