21stc. Luthiers from Europe click for more

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Simon Bush Soprano Ukulele 2007
Simon Bush Soprano
In being on the lookout for nice Ukuleles I see the work of a number of full and part time luthiers. The instruments they make look very nice and worthy of note.

Ken Smith - Tommy Cool

Based in Buxton, England he learned to make Ukuleles from making kits and the went on to make Ukuleles from scratch; and to start making his own kits for sale for others to make. He makes Soprano, Concert Tenor and Baritone scales and I have seen a Banjolele from him too, but no extra string models. One thing about his builds is that he always puts the tuners on "Upside Down" thereby reducing the distance from the end of the fretboard to the first tuner? (I did point this out to him but he said he thought this was the "right way round and no-one complained")

Rico Priet - Imago

Based in Saint-Étienne, France he started his own workshop in 2008 having previously worked for a number of other people including making Violins with Sylvain Hartwick. He makes mainly Guitars in a very unusual style, using wood turning techniques to make the bulk of the body, but he also makes ordinary and polynesian, (unsurprisingly given the nature of the Guitars he makes), Ukuleles. I have seen Soprano, Concert and Tenor scale Ukuleles from him, and a Guitalele too. Given the nature of the manufacture his Ukuleles are all very thin bodied and some even have sound holes on the front and back. Again due to the method of manufacture they are of a distinctive and fairly contemporary design, usually with a fairly large hole, (probably for hanging the Ukulele up?) in the headstock with the name/ branding on the back between the tuners. Sometimes too, there is some kind of artwork on the back and he does give some of the models names like "Ai-tilele", for a roundbody banjo style or "Parau" for an offset style with epaulette sound holes. The more traditional shape he calls "Yuku". Although his name is Rico Priet I have also seen him referred to as Rico Rikett

Simon Bush

Comes from Scotland, UK and produced Ukuleles in the late 2000's. He says he doesn't make Ukuleles any more

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