Aspen Ridge Ukuleles
Handmade Ukuleles and Guitars
Ed Eberle - Buena Vista Colorado
Aspen Ridge Ukuleles
I have been building ukuleles and guitars for over 20 years here in Buena Vista Colorado - between the mountains along Continental Divide and the valley of the Arkansas River. My most admired woods include: Koa, Bubinga, Macawood, Mesquite, Cocobolo, Quarter sawn Sycamore, Zircote, Aspen and Beetle-killed Pine.
For the last few years ukuleles and guitar woods have been locally sourced. Vickie and I (and 4 dogs) venture into a high plateau near Buena Vista known locally as Aspen Ridge. As we cut firewood for winter heat, we look out for special down or standing dead Aspen that is not rotten - but is dry. Features such as weather scars and branches yield beautiful patterns in the wood when sawn in half. Slices of those halves are bookmatched - becoming the back and sides.
Unique build process:
Although I occasionally build a ukulele or guitar by bending sides and completing the instrument in a traditional manner, to obtain the side color laminations the instrument body is cut from a pre-laminated block. Usually the block is beetle-killed pine, redwood or cedar with laminations of Peruvian walnut and padauk. This lamination pattern looks great with the natural designs found when cutting aspen logs.
No two instruments alike:
My "tenor" ukulele isn't a traditional tenor in size or shape. Although the scale length is 17" the shape of the ukulele is more of a "mini-jumbo". Occasionally I'll make a dreadnought shape. The 20" scale baritone ukulele likewise is either a mini-jumbo, or dreadnought. Resonators are featured in both the tenor and baritone sizes. Travel guitars also feature a 20" scale. Pickups can be added to any of the instruments.
Sound hole rosettes feature an inlay of crushed turquoise and abalone shell. I also like to add a small sound hole in the side so the player gets a little more sound for him or herself.
Other sound hole shapes are used. Lately I've been cutting bear tracks as sound holes. Other special shapes can be requested as well.
Mia Aguirre is a Salida artist and summer raft guide with a unique talent to turn a ukulele or guitar into a piece of art. Currently, depictions of Aspen Ridge, Colorado Columbines and the Colorado Flag are painted onto both ukuleles and travel guitars.
Please enjoy your tour of my work. Feel free to call with any questions and, if you are traveling through Colorado, please look us up for a shop tour.