Stephen has extensive experience in musical instrument making, having worked on the design, manufacture and finish of a range of instruments including parlour guitars, mandolins, mandolas and bouzoukis during his time at Catherwood Guitars. Hehas spent the last five and a half years as Senior craftsman and Assembly Supervisor at George Lowden Guitars, specialising in neck carving and fitting, and also runs his own workshop creating instruments for clients.
His QEST Scholarship will enable him to build on this experience by training with master craftsman Sam Irwin. Over a nine-month period Sam will teach Stephen to craft traditional folk instruments by hand.
Stephen is particularly interested in creating instruments from local and recycled materials and hopes this will stimulate interest and add new marketability for future investment in his instruments.Ultimately, he hopes to specialise in traditional Irish instruments that use local, sustainable materials and eco-friendly finishes.