Out of a tiny little workshop in the woods of Barrington, New Hampshire, I began honing the process of crafting what I’d eventually call Ardea Stringed Instruments. Long before that, I had always tinkered with guitars and steadily began my plunge into the world of lutherie. I eventually picked up my first banjo and soon found myself fixing up an old 1890’s Cole banjo. I was hooked. I’d scour the web looking for long-forgotten banjos or banjo parts and bring them back to life piece by piece. I was inspired by the old Boston makers — Cole, Fairbanks and Vega. I was struck by the simplicity with which they’re built and how they’re still very much in use and continue to influence new banjo makers and players today.

One of my goals at Ardea was to build musical instruments that are minimally-impactful on resources. A big part of that goal is to use wood stock that’s sustainable, either local or domestic, or ideally, from reclaimed sources like old furniture, discarded building materials, or even firewood! While these few parameters can sound limiting, I’ve found that it has the opposite effect and enables me to build truly unique instruments that each have their own unique story.

— Scott Heron