The “Artist” is an evolving design that I have adapted to suit different players’ requirements. These include 8 , 9 and 10 string versions with various body sizes and soundhole designs. The different designs enable me to achieve a broad range of voicings from the warm, dark “mandola” tone of the larger body through to a sweet, warm Oval-hole mandolin and brighter f-hole mandolin.
This mandolin was originally designed following a commission from Joel Lipton. Joel , who was the principal violist with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, was looking for an instrument suitable for playing classical, folk and jazz. He particularly wanted a dark and resonant instrument and this led me to experiment with much larger body sizes than I had used before and a shape that increased the volume of the air chamber.
I have recently developed a 9-string , oval-hole “Artist” which was commissioned by Ewan Macpherson (Shooglenifty, Salt House). You can find some demo videos of Ewan playing his 9-string “Artist” mandolin on this page.
It is a design that I’ve been developing with Ewan for some time and is tuned like a standard mandolin with four pairs tuned E,A,D,G, plus a single low ‘C’ string.This allows me to make the neck narrower than a 10-string mandolin – with a single C that is easier to fret and can be played more forcefully. Scale length is 365mm .
8, 9 and 10 string “Artist” mandolins
365 mm scale length
Body widths : 254mm, 278mm, 290mm, 328mm
Carved top: European, Engelmann Spruce
Maple or Sycamore back and sides (carved back)
Bound Ebony Fingerboard
Brazilian mahogany neck
Bone nut and saddle
Ebony or Birdseye Maple binding to top and back
9.5″ compound radius fingerboard (other radii and flat fingerboard optional)
Two way adjustable truss rod
Tuners: Gotoh 510 or SG381