I was born here in Bristol, and did my best to grow up here. Some say I'm still trying. Having followed my passion for music and deciding to skip university, I found myself joining bands and becoming very busy touring and recording. I spent much of my 20s on planes and tour buses around the world.
At 31 my first child arrived, and I decided to stop touring. I'd heard that making cymbals by hand was a possibility, and read all I could about the masters of the time - some sadly no longer with us. The mixture of creativity and practicality appealed, and I decided it was something I was going to do. Something I HAD to do.
With whatever information was available at the time, I started preparing tools and sourcing material. I decided I was going to learn this craft the hard way - 100% self-taught through trial-and-error. A decision I sometimes (almost) regret - I wasn't ready for the steep learning curve and counter-intuitive nature of some of the processes involved, especially while working full-time in a terrible job and raising two young children. I must love a challenge!
I persevered, making mistake after mistake, determined to figure out where I'd gone wrong, and how to make it right.
I was made redundant from my terrible job, and saw it as a chance to dive into cymbal-making, hopefully forging a career from it. Several years later, here I am running Collingwood Cymbals full-time and building an online community of cymbalsmiths from all over the world.
I make cymbals because I can't not make cymbals. It's a passion and an obsession. The more I learn about it, the more I see there is to learn. I'm forever challenging myself to find new techniques and uncover new processes, and with more and more people showing an interest in the craft, I've decided to pass on my knowledge by teaching others how to find their own way through the ever-branching pathways of knowledge.
Please reach out if you'd like to talk cymbals with me, or join my Patreon to become part of the community.
Thanks for reading!