Stryre Instruments specialises in unique hand built stringed instruments made from reclaimed, rare and vintage tone woods. The hardware used is also vintage/reclaimed where available. The range currently includes both traditional and innovative instruments including the Stryre, an electric lyre in both full sized and smaller versions, full sized and ukelele sized lap steels (including left handed models), cigar box guitars and ‘slinky’ guitars (a simple, heavily contoured design). Video lessons are provided to get you started with your first electric lyre.
At the moment I am mostly working with reclaimed vintage mahogany. The bodies are made from two or three carefully hand selected reclaimed billets of mahogany, mostly old doors and windows, strongly doweled and glued to form body blanks. Pick covers, bridges, fingerboards, and other small parts and fittings are made from, for example, yew, cherry, laburnum, walnut, box, and padauk.
These originate from a range of one-off reclaimed/salvaged sources, for example I have recently used old drawer bottoms, pieces reclaimed from an Edwardian hotel in London, offcuts from the wood panelling for a Formula One motorhome, and a quilted maple worktop from a friend’s kitchen. When creating the instruments I allow the history of the wood and its past uses to inform the look of each piece. The grain and character of the wood is revealed with the minimum of treatments, typically a light oiling.
Stryre Instruments is informed by my ten years as a professional musician and my knowledge of and experience with trees and wood. I live in a Hampshire valley (UK), working as a river keeper, buffalo herdsman, conservationist and forester.