Pete Rigg Luthier

Whilst playing my Hammer Dulcimer one night at a local session, I became aware of two things. Firstly, my instrument was coming apart and secondly, that I took up a lot of space in the pub. Having trained as a design engineer and spent my career in mechanical engineering, I decided to make myself a replacement in a smaller, pub friendly size.

 A friend, Andy Brown, recommended that I attend the short course in Making Musical Instruments at West Dean College near Chichester, home to the Edward James Foundation, with an international reputation for its many and varied courses. 

That was in 2003, and I have attended nearly every year since then to make different instruments and hone my luthier skills.

Instruments I have made with guidance from college tutor Andy Butterworth are;

Hammer Dulcimer

Hurdy Gurdy

Instruments I have researched and made partly at the college and partly in my own workshop are;

Paraguayan Harp

Nyckelharpa

Mariachi Bass Guitar

Celtic Harp

5-string Fiddle (under construction)

With encouragement from Tony Millyard, Vicki Swan and Celia Briar, I currently make Nyckelharpas and Celtic Harps to order in my workshop, but still regularly attend West Dean to expand my knowledge.