462 words • Miniviews

I'm a Maker Because...with Daryl vanderGroef

Daryl vanderGroef, Woodworker & Ukulele Maker - Maker Miniviews series. These interviews are quick and to-the-point, check it out.

By Scott Mathson, Makerviews

Makerviews exists to share the stories of and advice from a variety of talented makers, designers, and artists.

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Miniviews series - No. 70 with Daryl vanderGroef

You’ve landed on the seventieth installment of the Maker Miniviews (mini, two question interviews) series. Learn more about these maker interviews and view a list of all Miniviews.

Daryl vanderGroef is a wildland firefighter during the summer and a woodworker in the off-season. He shared that working in his small, converted shed workshop during cold Montana winters has become his therapy from long, arduous firefighting seasons. This maker’s focus in woodworking is in building beautifully handcrafted, custom ukeleles that he sells on Etsy under his brand “de Houtwinkel” (the woodshop).

Check out this interview with Daryl vanderGroef!

I'm a Maker Because...

Daryl vanderGroef photo

Daryl vanderGroef interview

What inspires you to keep making things?

"The Dutch have a saying...'Zuinigheid met vlijt'. Which basically means be frugal and work hard. My father was a talented woodworker, and engineer, and his inspiration and guidance has always pushed me to be better than I am.

Over the past two years I've really honed my skills in making my own Ukuleles. I've studied traditional ways, but also incorporated my very own hybrid method into my builds. I was really unimpressed with many of the top brands, and their factory-made instruments. So basically I wanted to give people an affordable instrument that was custom made to their needs, and made right here in my tiny shop in Missoula, Montana."

What one piece of advice would you give to other makers?

"I would have to say, be mindful of your art. Know where it first began, and learn the history of it. You'll always face challenge and make mistakes, but I think it's important that you have the knowledge of who came before you, and why they did it. History always tells us something in one form or another. And of course, never stop learning."

"Be mindful of your art...know where it first began, and learn the history of it..." — Daryl vanderGroef

Daryl's de Houtwinkel small, converted shed woodworking shop space in Montana
Daryl vanderGroef de Houtwinkel custom ukelele in vice

Follow Daryl vanderGroef’s work: Daryl vanderGroef websiteInstagram profile.


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"History always tells us something in one form or another..." - Daryl vanderGroef
Daryl vanderGroef maker interview

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Category: Miniviews | Tags: Woodworking

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