One year in business!!!

Yes!!! One year has passed since I registered with the Dutch chamber of commerce and JAVACA LUTHIER  / The Dutch Luthier became an official company.

It has gone so fast that Facebook had to remind me. This is what I posted on my personal timeline…

Officially one year in… 😃

A year with great memories and activities.
Made instruments for some fantastic musicians and friends.
And met the most interesting people. 🤗

From a trip to Cambridge to re-enactment at Dutch castles and museums, attending concerts, lectures and teaching courses. 😎

I finally have a sense I’m in the right place, and am mighty thankful to everyone who travels along in this great journey…

I’ve started with the idea that there is no official businessplan (truned out I’m allergic to those), just a rough sketch: To go along making things (instruments and more), by chasing my vast array of curiosities and see where it takes me. Or like I wrote a year ago:

“An all-round craftsman involved with a broad range of activities; instrument building, repairs, restorations and maintenance. But also historical research, writing, publishing, guitar and lute plans, art, lectures, teaching as well as recreation and promotion of (historical) crafts(manship).”

So far it hasn’t disappointed me.

(story continues after the pictures)



After a burn/bore-out at 25, I had a severe depression following me for the next 5 years. A sense of belongingness overwhelmed me. Why did everything I tried end up a mess? And why did every job I took eventually become a large drone of boredom? Why didn’t I get along with colleagues? Why did I always seem to get in conflict with managers? Why can’t I work in (hierarchical) groups? And how could I find a place where all my interests and skills would find a good home?

After various therapies and research I learned to live with two personal peculiarities; A combination of giftedness (high IQ) and (I learned later) a mild form of Asperger. Up to now I always had suppressed this and tried to ‘act normal’, often biting my tongue in the process. Trying to avoid stepping on others toes.
Following social norms to stick to one activity and forsake all others. After much internal conflict and fights with the Dutch social services (who time and time again tried to break me down), I finally found the strength to step out of the corporate rat race and follow my own path.

Find people I like to work with and who appreciate the things I do. People I can learn from, with whom I can interact on various levels and subjects. From professors and academics to people without much education but a lot of wisdom. Musicians, luthiers, archaeologists, re-enactors, craftspeople, artists, actors, teachers. Many of them becoming great friends in the process.

The scope of my activities has become even wider. Looking back, I noticed that one of the red lines in my life was to combine various fields and interests. Especially when they are considered opposites: Technology and arts, history and future, head (theory) and hands (practice).

As you perhaps know I’m not much interested in money. Just enough to cover the basic necessities of life in the Netherlands; food, shelter, health insurance, mobility. The only real luxuries Sandra and I like are books… For the rest we like to make do with materials and goods we find and materials we salvage.

To me value is something that can be expressed in more ways than money. So volunteer work for the community is also a part of the activities. In various non-profits, like keeping the antique fire engine alive, practical help at the local museum, making and maintaining a Little Free Library,  reenactment and organizing events.

As said, I am very thankful to everyone who joined and supported me in this journey. Friends, customers, family, colleagues and acquaintances. Thanks for all your help, commissions, repairs, restorations, ideas, plans, advice, jokes etc.
I hope we can continue and expand this in the future. As you know, you’re always welcome to come by for a cup of coffee and entertaining tales.

Let’s keep up the good work!


–  Jan van Cappelle –
The Dutch Luthier

Javaca Workshop


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