Tom Sands

2014 QEST Garfield Weston Foundation Scholar - Luthiery

After graduating from the Glasgow School of Art with a degree in product design, Tom trained as a cabinet maker under master cabinet maker Wynn Bishop at Rupert McBain Furniture in Durham. This classic training set him up well for a lifetime of working with timber, and he now works as a luthier with his own business, Tom Sands Guitars, based in Yorkshire.

A chance meeting in 2009 with leading British luthier and QEST Scholar Jim Fleeting sparked an interest in the magic of acoustic guitars. A keen player himself, Tom decided he wanted to take the plunge and combine his love of the guitar with his love for his craft. After travelling to Oakland, California in April 2014 to undergo an extensive two week interview process, he was accepted as apprentice to world renowned luthier, Ervin Somogyi. A QEST Garfield Weston Foundation Scholarship supported Tom as Mr Somogyi’s first British apprentice.

I sometimes feel there is a lack of wonder in the world today; one can ‘know’ pretty much everything at the click of a mouse. I’m interested in restoring wonder. I want people to look at my work and think – how on earth does that work? How does that hold itself together?

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