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~ Special Feature ~

Frans Hattink
Bagpipe Maker to the Low Countries

(Click here for an update on Frans Hattink's current activities & schedule.)

Pipemaker Frans Hattink at work in his shop
Frans Hattink at work on a chanter
Some of the oldest and most beautiful representations of bagpipes come from the masterful artists of the fabled "Low Countries" - the lands of windmills, dikes, wonderful foods and flowers and several distinct and highly dynamic cultures that today form the Netherlands, Belgium and parts of France and Germany. For centuries here as well as in the rest of Europe the sound of various sorts of bagpipes could be heard at just about every sort of gathering, especially among the "common" folk.


Two of the most famous paintings depicting bagpipes, both by Pieter Brueghel.
Click on the images for enlargements ~ use your "back" button to return here

Alas, as also in the rest of Europe, these wonderful sounds began to fade away during the great tide of social and technological change that swept through the world in the 19th century, surviving in many places only in legend and art. But the paintings in which these silent pipes are frozen have their own extremely powerful voices, and eventually these masterpieces helped spark a revival of bagpipe playing and building. Today there are hundreds of pipers in the region, piping and pipemaking workshops, piping organizations and so on - and of course bagpipe makers, without whom none of this could be happening.

Among these bagpipe makers, who had a very difficult task in bringing their native instruments back to life, is Frans Hattink who lives in Friesland (today in Holland). The Universe of Bagpipes is proud to present here some of his beautiful work, with his comments. This is the first of what will be a series of such pages about pipemakers from diverse traditions, and we hope you find it enlightening and enjoyable. ~ O.S.
Below is a thumbnail gallery of some of the bagpipes Frans Hattink has made. Click on the images for individual pages with larger pictures, detail photos, and commentary. Beneath the thumbnail gallery are some general comments by Frans about himself and his work, along with contact information.


~ Some Comments On His Work by Frans Hattink ~

"I've been making pipes for 20 years. I used to teach people to make all kinds of instruments - hurdy-gurdys, dulcimers, violins, guitars and percussion. I also adapted instruments for handicapped children. In the late 1970s I travelled to Ireland and saw the Uilleann pipes.I bought a set at Dan 'o Dowd's place and got lessons. My teachers were Paddy Keenan, Seamus Ennis, Davy Spillane, Johnny Bourke, etc. All those cracks were gathered every year in the Willy Clancy Music School in Miltown Malbay - a very nice time.

"At home I was one of the first who had a Uilleann pipe and besides the GHB pipers there were no others. So to keep the thing going I had to learn a lot about reeds and woodwinds, by trial and error. So, slowly I became an ''expert'' (in the land of the blind, a one-eyed man is king). My first pipemaking teacher was Remy Dubois, a well-known pipemaker in Wallonie (Belgium). Later I started to make my own sets, and now making pipes and teaching people (through the organization Stichting Draailier en Doedelzak) is my full-time job.

Pipemaker Frans Hattink at work in his shop
Frans making reeds in his shop.
"We also use this room for practising the bagpipe and hurdy gurdy
music we make with our band, Quarte-L."

"I try to improve the technology of pipemaking. So, I use only the best materials and better solutions to avoid having people struggle with pipes because of technical problems. The bagpipe is very much mistreated by musicians; they ignore the fact that a lot of maintenance is needed. So to keep the instrument going the pipemaker has to think Mercedes Benz! The main thing is to find the best woods. I buy my ebony in Spain - they import it from Mozambique - and I have nice wood suppliers in France. At the moment we also use woods from local forests and parks from the beginning of the century, where are found exotic woods, planted by shipping merchants who traded with the East." ~ Frans Hattink, Friesland, April, 2000

Frans Hattink builds his instruments under his maker's brand-name,

Cornemuses Jolipipe

He can be contacted via email via this link:

jolipipe@chello.nl

(Note: This is a new email address as of January 28, 2001.)

Or you can contact Frans by postal mail at:

F. I. Hattink
1e Stichtingspad 4
8413 NS Oudehorne
The Netherlands


Or by telephone: 0033 ( 0 ) 513541792 or GSM : 06-16876507 (portable)

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