Mountain View, Arkansas – – Mandolin maker Mike Holmes will be demonstrating how he makes mandolins and selling his wonderful instruments at the Ozark Folk Center State Park on September 14th and 15th in the Craft Village. Mike’s mandolins have a strong reputation for playability and beauty.
“My grandfather was a furniture maker and I have been making furniture and other things of wood most of my life,” said Mike. “My son-in-law is a mandolin player and I wanted to learn how to play. I couldn’t afford an American mandolin and didn’t want to buy a Chinese one so I built my own.”
A retired National Park Service Ranger, who spent all but four years of his career in the Ozarks, Mike prefers to use wood that comes from the Ozark Mountains in building his mandolins. He uses some exotic woods for the top plate. Mike is developing a recognizable style in his instruments and is starting to be sought after by mandolin players. He has been building mandolins for more than six years now.
“I bought Roger Simminoff’s book and pick other builders brains whenever I can,” said Mike, discussing the origins of his style. While at the Ozark Folk Center, Mike will demonstrate carving a top plate and individual parts of a mandolin and show how they fit together. He will have mandolins for sale and will be taking custom orders. Currently he’s working on mandolin number 67.
Even if you don’t play mandolin, stop in a visit with Mike and enjoy watching a true craftsman at work. He will be on the Outdoor Music Stage from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.