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Will’s fascination with music and musical instruments began at an early age while listening to his parents and uncles singing gospel music and playing various stringed instruments. At the age of five, after much persuasion, his mother finally agreed to teach him a few rudimentary chords on the guitar. Using these basics, he taught himself more advanced techniques and eventually embarked on a career as a professional musician, playing acoustic/electric guitars, pedal steel guitar and mandolin.
It was at this point in time that he felt the need for a fine quality acoustic guitar, however, all the models that he liked were far beyond his financial reach. Out of necessity and some persuasion by his older brother, a kitchen designer and cabinet maker, he decided to build a guitar for himself. That first effort was carried out using mostly hand tools and took two years to complete, but the rewards were amazing, and, as the saying goes, “he was hooked”, and couldn’t wait to get started on another instrument.
Longtime friend and multi-instrumentalist Etienne Grange-Praderas enticed him into building a custom Celtic lever harp and at present, Will’s primary output is five various models of Celtic harps ranging from 3 octave lap harps up to full-sized 5 octave concert harps.
He also continues to build custom acoustic guitars, Irish bouzoukis, mandolins, both flat-top and archtop, as well as various models of ukuleles when time permits.
Will’s workspace/home is located just outside the small town of Cremona, Alberta, (not Italy) about an hour’s scenic drive Northwest of Calgary, and overlooks a beautiful hillside and river valley, a view which in his words is “inspirational to say the least”. It is with this inspiration that Will is guided, building his instruments by hand, one at a time, with as keen an ear, and eye for detail as is humanly possible.possible.
To learn more about Will and his craft please visit: www.hammstrings.com