Laurie Williams, Luthier (instrument maker)

Laurie Williams, Luthier (instrument maker)

Laurie Williams lives in the Paraoanui valley in the Far North of New Zealand’s North Island surrounded by native bush and farmland. He’s off the beaten track down a rugged drive on rough gravel roads.

Laurie has been building professionally since 1992 in a one man workshop next to his home. His instruments are all made individually, from start to finish. He has built over 160 instruments to date, averaging ten to twelve instruments per year. He builds guitars, violins, mandolins and ukuleles.

Lauries’ instruments are crafted from native timber that he sources throughout NZ. He select trees, often sunken logs, then re-saws them and air dries and grades the wood so he has absolute control over the tonewoods. As Laurie says “It gives new meaning to the phrase personally selected tone wood”. He also builds with recycled and reclaimed timber.

Laurie and director Mathurin have been close friends for over 10 years and share a common love of wood, instruments and the forest. Laurie is entwined in SOTK and on several occasions he and the family moved into a tent beside the house so that the pretentious film crew could take up residence. Mathurin always slept in the studio amongst the midnight song of the sleeping guitars.

Visit Laurie’s website to discover more about his fascinating craft.

Radio New Zealand interviews Laurie Williams

Listen to Laurie’s Nine to Noon interview on Radio New Zealand (Monday 25th June 2012), where he talks about his craft, his lifestyle and the process of using native woods in his instruments.

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Mathurin has been involved in the New Zealand film industry since 1985. Song of the Kauri is his documentary directorial debut and he has surrounded himself with a stellar cast of uniquely talented people who are all impassioned by this project and share a common vision to tell this story. More about Mathurin

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