Instrument Makers Exhibition

Pic: Tim Kill Custom – Hindustani Slide Guitar

Instrument Maker’s Exhibition 2019 will be announced in November

We are proud to host one of the largest interactive hand made instrument exhibitions in Australia. Marvel at the beauty and craftsmanship that goes into creating your favourite instrument… This is no static exhibition; rather it is a vibrant and bustling hub of knowledge, information and the joy of creativity. You can chat to the makers and watch as some of the instruments are crafted before your very eyes in the marquee! The exhibition culminates in a special Australian Made & Played concert, featuring instruments from the exhibition played by a stellar lineup of both Australian and International performers. This exhibition is your perfect opportunity to purchase your next unique instrument.

Exhibition Times

Sat & Sun 10.00am – 5.00pm
Mon 10.00am – 1.00pm
at the Instrumentworx Marquee, main arena.

The Makers Made & Played Concert
This intimate, blackboard style concert showcases our makers’ unique instruments from the exhibition played by a stellar line-up from our festival performers. Putting the instruments through their paces and bringing out the best in them will be Jimi Hocking, Jeff Lang, La Busca and Nick Charles, just to name a few! For more information on who else will be performing on Sunday afternoon’s concert, check the blackboard outside the Instrument Makers’ marquee during the exhibition.


Exhibitors 2018:

Avocet Cigar Box Guitars

Cigar Box Guitar
Avocet Cigar Box Guitars began in 2015 when its founder Milan Paskas retired from secondary school art teaching, and saw the design and construction of cigar box guitars as a perfect means of combining his long held interests in art and music. Believing that the sound quality obtainable from acoustic cigar box guitars in particular is unique, Milan has sought to make these instruments for playing, not hanging on a wall. A couple of other features affording them a legitimate place alongside their 6-string counterparts are that their string spacing is a little wider than those of conventional guitars (a dream for those not blessed with ideally proportioned fingers); and that the 3 or 4 string open tunings make them easy to play, and above all, encourage creativity.

Brookwood Guitars

Cigar Box Guitar
There is one rule for cigar box guitars and that is: “There ain’t no rules … So you build ‘em how you like, string ‘em how you like and play ‘em how you like. I always try and use reclaimed timbers whenever possible and Australian hardwoods are my specialty. My guitars are three and four string fretless, tuned open G”. For further information, please check the website:

Daniel Hoban

Guitar, Mandolin, Mandola
Daniel is an independent guitar maker based in Melbourne; from his small workshop in Northcote he crafts steel string guitars, mandolins and mandolas using traditional methods and beautiful timbers. His instruments are individually crafted for fine tone, balance and playability. He also repairs all types of fretted instruments. Daniel studied guitar making in Manchester UK, where he completed a diploma in Musical Instrument Technology in 2008, then returned to Melbourne to establish his own workshop in 2009.
Email: [email protected]

Declan Bartlett

Bodhran, Percussion
Declan Bartlett started the craft of instrument making when he was only young. He grew up amongst several of the leading instrument makers and has attended countless festivals around Australia. He has studied Bachelor of Music at the University of Western Sydney.
Email: [email protected]

Double Bass Tattoo

Custom Decoration
Double Bass Tattoo is the only business that ‘tattoos’ guitars and drums using pencil. Our unique concept brings together the beauty of pencil on timber, and the opportunity for clients to personalise the musical instrument of their choice. Tattoos are applied via a process of sanding, hand drawing on lacquered or raw timber, and a final coating of polyurethane to seal. The tattoos can stand up to the rigours of gigging, remaining as bold as the day they were applied.

Erle Bartlett

Erle Bartlett has been involved in instrument making for over 20 years. Erle’s popularly acclaimed Syn whistles will again be on display at the Festival.
Email: [email protected]


Hyde & Clay

Tarek Sawires, Egyptian born percussionist, migrated to Australia in 1983. He pursued his musical career while majoring in ceramics and sculpture at Sydney College of the Arts. During this time at college, he explored the idea of drums and sound and combined the art of playing music with his ability to create unique instruments and sounds. Each drum is individually made, having its own tone achieved simply by changing its shape and by using different types of skin. Tarek’s pottery is beautifully crafted with an earthy and raw finish. When not at the wheel Tarek performs at festivals, community and social events and runs drumming workshops and Egyptian tabla courses.

Jack Spira

Guitar, Bouzouki
Jack Spira is a Melbourne-based luthier of over 20 years experience. Originally trained in London, Jack has worked in Australia since 1991. His focus has always been on steel strung instruments including guitar cittern, octave mandolin and mandolin. Nearly all his work is made to order, however he usually finds the time to make something special available for the Festival.

Jeff Wilmott


In 1969, having become partially sighted, Jeff began a life and love of folk music, pottery and photography. Jeff plays old-time fiddle, didgeridoo, and mandolin and has won many Australian Championships on the gum leaf! Jeff began making and playing ocarinas (small clay flutes) after completing a two-year ceramic course in 1987 at East Sydney Technical College. The ocarina is played by gently blowing to produce a beautiful, sweet note.

Luke Kallquist

Luke Kallquist from Kallquist Guitars is a Brisbane based luthier, making traditionally inspired instruments, specialising in acoustic guitars. His aim is to create instruments that have the same ‘played in’ sound and feel as highly sought after vintage instruments. Hand tools are used for the majority of the work, with machinery and power tools kept to a minimum. Standard lines of instruments based on a variety of classic models are available in a multitude of timbers. The majority of Luke’s work however is custom order guitars that are made to suit the customer on all levels – sound, feel, and aesthetics. The customer is involved in the whole process from wood selection and design to final set up.

Rocky Creek Strings

Banjo, Ukulele & other stringed instruments
Rocky Creek Strings is based in the Northern Rivers of NSW, in the hills behind Byron Bay. We are a family-run workshop producing quality handmade musical instruments specialising in banjo ukuleles, banjos and other stringed things. We strive to make you the best sounding, most fun and unique instrument to play.

 Trevor Phillips

Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele
Trevor makes stringed instruments from a traditional foundation, making use of the freedom to experiment and modify afforded to the small custom builder, enjoying the treasury of local timbers available. He is a firm believer that Australian makers are writing their own chapter in the history of musical instruments, due to a mixture of cultural influences, combined with the unique, locally available timber species.
Email: [email protected]

 Rodrigo Percussion

Originally from Chile, Rodrigo has been a professional Latin percussionist based out of Sydney for nearly 20 years, playing many of Latin America’s musical instruments and rhythms. He established Rodrigo Percussion (RP), Australia’s leading cajón brand, in 2008, setting new standards for cajón and cajón hybrid instruments here in Australia. His cajón are played by many of the elite in the industry, both here and internationally, with excellent reviews. His products cater to all levels of playing, from children and adult beginner learners to the seasoned professional.

 Shoma Acoustics

Shoma Subotic is a Melbourne based luthier that produces acoustic guitars under the name of Shoma Acoustics. His mechanical background and passion for woodwork and music fused together and led him to a career in guitar making. Every Shoma Acoustics guitar is produced with finesse and immense attention to detail, creating unique sounding fine instruments. His guitars are produced to order, allowing every unit to be customized to meet the client’s specific requirements. With last year’s orders completed for European customers he is becoming internationally recognised guitar maker.

White Swallow Banjos

White Swallow Banjos have been making banjo ukuleles for around seven years now, using their own designs, with features other instruments don’t have. These are made as bona fide musical instruments, not glorified toys. Ukes that are on display at the festival have all been made in the White Swallow workshop.

Woodskin Cajón™

Woodskin™ has significantly advanced the traditional cajon, extending it’s use in a wide variety of musical genres. With patented built-in pedal kick drum, switchable snare, tone and depth controls it offers versatility and a uniquely crisp and powerful sound. Additional to traditional hand playing, Woodskin’s™ KiKBox® Cajon employs foot pedals to generate the rich bass, snare and tom sounds it is renowned for. Woodskin’s™ KiKBox® is used by professional musicians of all types, from percussionists to guitarists, the world over.