In 2001 I graduated at an Amsterdam school for cabinet making and woodworking. This was a four years fulltime study. During this course, I made two acoustic guitars and one lapsteel. Also I could start to help with repairing guitars for a guitar shop in Amsterdam, called The String. Even in the years after graduating, I continued to repair for that shop. After working three years as a technician for the Dutch Opera and The Dutch National Ballet, and after building a new guitar, I decided to start as a full-time guitar builder.
The workshop called Fern’s Guitars And Parts was started in January 2005 in Haarlem, nearby Amsterdam. At an industrial area, called Waarderpolder, production started of the first guitars and lap steel guitars. Customers found quickly the way to repairs, parts and of course unique handmade instruments. Within three years, the workshop grew to become a professional place for repair work and custom made guitars.
A huge fire was burning in the building where the workshop was, at first of January 2008. After a week of doubts, people could finally see the damage from inside. Two big companies have been completely destroyed, and many small companies had lots of damage. As by a miracle, Fern’s Guitars did not suffer from any material damage.The building was of course not usable for work anymore, so everybody had to find a new place to start. A space was found around February 2008 in the center of Amsterdam.
The building in Haarlem at January 1st, 2008.
The completely destroyed building one week later.
From January 2008 the name of the workshop changed to ‘Fern’s Guitars’ as a fresh start. Although the workshop has a smaller space now, the location turned out to be a big improvement. Many new customers found their way to the workshop, and there is a growing need for handbuild instruments. If you enter the workshop in Amsterdam you find your self in a true crafting place. This workshop continues the work that started in Haarlem and I continue to make personal and professional repairs and one of a kind handcrafted guitars that are worth the label Made in Amsterdam.