Harry Wass Biography

and Contact Details

 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.  medieval.instruments@gmail.com 
0448 330 312 
 


 

After a lifetime of working with timber and playing musical instruments in several groups (ranging from heavy gothic rock in my late teens/twenties to medieval music today in Harlequin), it seemed a natural progression for me to move into making instruments, first for myself, and then for others. 

 

After moving from Victoria to Tasmania, I first began with violin making fifteen years ago, and I have now progressed to making early instruments, which are my passion.  In 2006 I travelled through Eastern and Western Europe researching and studying these and other early and folk instruments, and networking with European makers, and I am currently working full time as an early instrument maker.  

 

I love the diversity of early instruments and my versatility in instrument making is one of my strengths. The range of instruments I construct has lead me to become highly skilled in a wide variety of instrument making techniques and the mechanisms of hurdy gurdies and other keyed instruments.  I am happy to recieve and order for an instrument I have yet to make, as the challenge and excitement of research, design and construction is what brings me fresh to the workshop each day!

 

In addition to the instruments on this website, I am happy to undertake construction of any instrument where there is historical material in the form of medieval iconography, sculpture etc.  I also make traditional violins, viola d' amores and other Baroque and Renaissance instruments, along with early bows.

 

I typically use Tasmanian timbers such as Huon Pine (Lagarostrobus franklinii)  King Billy Pine (Athrotaxis selaginoides) Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) and Myrtle (Nothofagus cunninghamii) and I find them acoustically excellent, but I am happy to discuss the use of alternate timbers where desired.

 

In addition, all my instruments have a variety of string, tuning and other options, including geared tuning pegs, and can be customised to suit the musician and the type of performance the instrument is  likely  to be used in.

 

Some of the place you are able to view a number of my instruments in person include performances by the medieval ensemble Harlequin, instrument maker displays and performances at the National Folk Festival (Canberra) the Cygnet Folk Festival (Tasmania) and at performances and workshops at the Abbey Medieval Festival (Brisbane).  
 

I have recently displayed in the String State Exhibiton (Tasmania) and was interviewed by ABC television (Stateline) in relation to this, medieval instrument making and playing in our band Harlequin.

 

I sell within Australia and overseas, please contact me for postage/shipping details. 

 

If you wish to make a purchase and have questions in relation to any of my instruments, please feel free to contact me:

 

medieval.instruments@gmail.com

 

 or phone 0448 330 312, 

Harry Wass with Symphony under construction

 

'Red' Violin with flamed Myrtle (Nothofagus cunninghamii)  neck, sides and back and King Billy pine (Athrotaxis selaginoides) soundboard.

 

Vielle (medieval fiddle) under construction.

 

Baroque Viola d' amore, which dates from the 17th C. Viola d'amores are derived from both the violin and viol families, with eastern influences.