My name is Travis Carey, and I am a lute maker in Vancouver, Canada. I started building lutes in 1997, and over the years have developed
an extensive repertoire of historically based instruments.
In 2006, supported by a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, I traveled to Vermillion, SD, USA, where I photographed, measured and documented the two fine 13 course baroque lutes of the 1720s by Thomas Edlinger at the National Music Museum.
In 2008 I was awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, which allowed me to work for a full year in residency in the workshop of master lute maker Grant Tomlinson in Vancouver. In 2010, I established my own independent lute making workshop.
I work with the finest materials available, and have an ample supply of well-seasoned timbers. These include figured maples, rosewoods, and striped yew for lute backs, and very fine European Spruce for soundboards. I carefully control the relative humidity in my workshop, assembling my lutes at between 38-42%, which helps to create stable instrument that can adapt to life invarious climatic conditions. I use hide glue exclusively for all joints. This was the adhesive that the old master makers used, and it is still the best glue for the job. It dries hard and does not "creep", as some modern adhesives do. It also absorbs moisture at the same rate as the wood around it, which helps to create a stable instrument.
I began lute making as a player, and I continue to approach it in this way. Before and during the construction process, I consult extensively with the client to make sure all design details will suit him or her. My goal is to build a beautiful, playable, musical instrument that fits the needs of the player - size, shape, playing technique, musical goals - as closely as possible.
I am constantly in the process of developing new models, so if you don't see what you're looking for on this website, please feel free to contact me and we can discuss your needs.
Travis Carey, Luthier
207-8696 Barnard Street
Vancouver, BC V6P 5G5