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small strings

Traditional and contemporary stringed instruments

crafted in Northumberland

Mark Mawby

Mark started making musical instruments in the 1980s when, as a working musician, he needed high-quality instruments at affordable prices. He then consolidated this experience and his joinery skills (a trade in which he is qualified) with an excellent 2-year course in Musical Instrument Technology in Manchester.

He continued making instruments on an amateur basis — for himself, family and friends — constantly improving and perfecting his techniques, until December 2010 when he and his wife Sue started Small Strings.

What else is there to say? Despite having a degree in Classical Music (first study classical guitar), Mark has been addicted for many years to traditional music from all over the place. He usually plays fiddle, mandolin or, occasionally, guitar, although he's flirted with whistle, flute and pipes. He enjoys playing jazz, gypsy jazz and also plays classical guitar — and still does the occasional gig.

Sue Mawby

Sue has worked in publishing and also in administration for many years, and puts her experience to good use in Small Strings — organising trade stalls, updating the website, bookkeeping and numerous other things. She also helps with the instrument making occasionally.

When she started Morris dancing in the early ’90s, she also ‘discovered’ traditional music and loves listening to it. She's learning to play the mandolin. 

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