It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything new on the website. Plenty has happened in the life of Wiens in the past 5 months, Most Jarring was the passing of my Dad, Henry Wiens on March 18th 2016 at the age of 87.
People often ask me how I got started in the craft of lutherie and and perhaps this is a good time to write a bit about him and how he influenced me in that regard. My Dad grew up on a farm in Southern Alberta in the 1930’s as part of the Mennonite community there. As a boy working on the farm he learned from his Dad how to build and fix anything. As a young man he and his older brother began to ply their skills in commercial and residential construction and that became his career for many years. He built several homes for his own family including the one that I grew up in. Being a builder, dad always had woodworking tools around ..Chisels, table saw, drills, etc. and there was always something being made for the home or just for fun. As a kid , I was told not to play with the tools, but that didn’t always stop me. I recall a few startling adventures with power tools early on, but thankfully I was never seriously injured.
Dad wasn’t particularly musical (although he did play old time harmonica with a lot of gusto!) And he didn’t have any interest in making instruments. But as I began to try to make my first guitar, I think my exposure to Dad’s woodworking and experience with his tools gave me some confidence to move forward with it. By age 16 I had built my first complete guitar at home using his tools. And so it began that way.
This is a funny picture my Dad took of himself horsing around with my precious gear circa 1987. I wasn’t supposed to mess with his tools and he wasn’t supposed to mess with my gear. I guess neither of us listened too well, but I’m glad he took the picture.
Till we meet again Dad.