Scott Wise Instruments
Scott Wise Instruments | Luthier
Scott Wise has been repairing stringed instruments since 1973 and building them since 1978 in the south-west corner of Australia. After completing a science degree specialising in geology in 1973, Scott followed the logical path of working full time as a musician in blues bands, country bands, rock bands, recording sessions, folk clubs – whatever it took to survive. He was good with his hands, and soon found a demand for his repairing skills. This was helped by an ability to research gained at university, and the few lutherie books available at the time.
Whilst in Melbourne on tour in 1976 he was fortunate to meet mandolin maker Stephen Gilchrist and was able to work with him for a short time in 1978 in Warrnambool, Victoria. In late 1978 he returned to Western Australia and set up his own shop. Scott has been building instruments ever since, as well as continuing to play in mainly acoustic genres. Working as a musician has helped his lutherie a great deal. Working as a luthier has probably not been so great for the musician! Lutherie is very time consuming and can be damaging to the hands. It is nice, however, to eventually have all the guitars, mandolins, fiddles, tiples, ukes etc you could want!
In the 1970s, the isolation of Western Australia from the mainstream of instrument making tended to prevent specialisation in any one field of lutherie as the market was so small. There were a couple of older generation European trained luthiers, both doing good work and not at all interested in helping newcomers. Enter the Guild of American Luthiers! This organisation, founded in the middle 1970s was developed specifically to share information in stringed instrument making. It was and continues to be the lifeblood of luthiers working in isolation. In 1979, with no internet, no comprehensive lutherie supplies catalogs and few books available, the G.A.L was a wonderful inroad to all the resources for lutherie which have now developed to such a high degree. A look at these pages will show the variety of instruments made by Scott. His instruments have been in demand since he first opened his business in 1979.
Scott has been able to have some training in violin making in the U.S. Has also attended G.A.L. conventions in the U.S. and spent some time in Cremona, Italy in 1987 around the time of the Celebrazione Stradivariane 1737-1987. He now lives in Margaret River, at the very corner of South West Australia in a region known for its forests, fine wines and great surf. Still isolated, but a great and inspiring environment in which to build fine stringed instruments