John Claughton, from Leeds, started as an Instrument Maker by going to Leeds College of Music studying Musical Instrument Technology in general but Guitar making in particular. He studied a further 4 years in London.He became a professional Instrument Maker in 1988 specialising in the manufacture of Classical Guitars. He also started making folk instruments including mandolins, mandolas and steel string guitars.Other instruments include vihuelas (he's an expert in this field), lutes, sitterns, medieval fiddles, viola da braccia - in fact he will make any kind of stringed instrument.He has also lectured at University on Children's Guitars for the European Guitar Teachers Association.He was asked by GFS member, Alan Harris, to make Banjo Ukuleles. He started repair work initially to gain information about the different instruments and then designed and produced the 'Griffin' Banjo Ukulele. He has been making Banjo Ukes for about 3 years now and has produced quite a few 'bespoke' instruments for well satisfied customers.He also makes Soprano, Tenor and Concert ukuleles.All instruments are made to the highest Claughton specifications based on classic designs using the finest woods - ebony and rosewood for the fingerboards, maple and mahogany for necks and bodies - also using American Birds Eye Maple for some stunning instruments.Some of the instruments are 18ct Gold plated. Uses Grover Tuning pegs and all instruments have laminated bodies. They have a beautiful tone and are a pleasure to play.My grateful thanks to Peter Pollard for the photographs
the claughton ‘Griffin’ Banjo ukulele - the king
This bespoke instrument is a little beauty. Made by John Claughton (Leeds) with a lot of TLC.All metal parts gold plated.Unusual peghead design resulting in the instrument being 'crowned' hence the name 'The King'. Also has paired 'crown' cutouts in the resonator flangeBeautiful marquetry inlay on the resonator.Bottom tensioners, although design means that you have to remove the resonator to tension the Vellum.