View Full Version : A visit to Blackheath New South Wales Australia & Pagan Mandolins

Apr-21-2016, 8:21am
I was in Australia recently and had the pleasure of swinging by Peter Jenner's house to have a cup of tea a chat and check out his mandolins. Mostly my daughter played a mandolin and a beautiful Mandola. I always enjoy a chance to meet with builders and get to know them. They are all inspiring.

I agreed that I like the newer sound hole design he's using (on the newest mandolin).

In the photos, the newer soundhole is on the bottom of the two mandolin photo, My daughter is playing the mandola, and I'm the one in the tourist hat, Peter is in the back.

Thank you for the hospitality, Peter!


Eric Oliver
Apr-22-2016, 5:59am
Y'all could be brothers, it seems, from the photos.
Good to know the "Pagan" is still alive.
Any shop secrets to let out?

Charles E.
Apr-22-2016, 7:15am
The first photo is intriguing, among the instruments are placed , a 50 dollar (pound?) bill, a roll of scotch tape, a newspaper article and a dish of candy. What could it all mean? Hmmmmm.

Anyway, it looks like you are having a wonderful time! Thanks for the pics.

Apr-22-2016, 7:19am
Is that a picture of Matilda on the dollar bill?;)

Apr-22-2016, 8:26am
The "artsy" photo of the two mandolins was just a quick phone shot on the way out the door. I think it just represents the eclectic clutter of a mad mandolin builder. Mostly I wanted to highlight the older and newer sound hole designs Peter is using.

Edith Cowan is featured on that $50 note. She was the first woman elected to the Australian Parliament in 1920.

We didn't talk too much shop since I'm not a builder. I'm particularly jealous that Peter visited John Hamlett's shop in Virginia and I never did even though I drove through his town frequently.


Eric Oliver
Apr-22-2016, 10:42am
How did all those Pagans sound?
Do they tend to sound like a family, made by one person?

I too regret not crashing in on Mr. Hamlett - once so close and now off to that "dark and bloody ground," Kentucky.

Pete Jenner
Apr-22-2016, 11:13am
Thanks for the post Jamie. It was great to meet you and your wonderful clan, thanks for finding the time to drop in.

The newspaper article was sent by my brother in England and is about my nephew Max being accepted into Oxford University.
The scotch tape is known here as sticky tape. The 'candy' is Mum's Lindt chocolate left over from Easter. The two ipad's belong to Mum - when she gets frustrated with one she uses the other. I do like our money.

I've had a break from building but intend to do some more later in the year.

Apr-22-2016, 1:27pm
I thought the Pagans sounded very nice. Certainly better in Peter's hands than mine considering I haven't played in a good while. WE were never really quiet enough (my daughter was jamming out and learning mandolin fingering) to compare soundhole sound differences. That wasn't the purpose of the visit. We were just being sociable as we went by his place going from Katoomba to Mudgee. Like I said, it was great to meet a fellow Cafe member and a bonus to see a builder and some of his instruments.


Ivan Kelsall
Apr-23-2016, 2:09am
I had the great pleasure of meeting Peter during his 'world tour', when he dropped in just before Christmas in a couple of years ago. (or was it 3 ?).
Honestly,i was mightily impress with the 'Pagan' mandolin that he brought with him. I suppose that most of us, when coming across a 'new' builder who's instruments aren't well known, have a few misgivings re.build / tonal qualities,well,if i had any, they were quickly dispelled !. Peter's mandolin was beautifully put together,it sounded lovely & played very easily. I strongly suspect,that over the past couple of years,with his increased skill & knowledge,that Peter's instruments sound better than ever. They certainly look exceptionally well made - & i love the new sound hole design,terrific !.
Well done Peter & thanks Jamie,

Michael Bridges
Apr-23-2016, 6:21am
I had the pleasure of meeting Peter (also during his World Tour) at Marty Jacobson's shop. I was really impressed with the Pagan myself. Loved having a chance to play a new instrument from a talented builder. Really got to hear it put though it's paces the next day at the Ponce de Leon Beer Festival, when David Mold (Old Sausage) used it for Sweetwater Creek's (David's bluegrass trio) whole set. It really came across well on stage, in the hands of an excellent player! Pete is a great guy, who I consider a good friend to this day.

Marty Jacobson
Apr-23-2016, 10:11pm
Cool! Pete, what are you up to these days?

Pete Jenner
Apr-24-2016, 5:27am
Hi Marty,

Busy with the boring bits of life. I'll send you an email.


Dan Douris
Apr-27-2016, 9:55am
Wow Pete, Jamie comes all that way and visits you? I think I am maybe a 1-hour car ride away from Jamie and we have only chatted through the Cafe and FB a few times. By the looks of it seems like it was a good time. Hope to see some of your new creations in the near future.

Apr-27-2016, 12:58pm
Dan, I'll be on Broad Street Sunday morning. I'll be the one running... slowly.


Pete Jenner
Apr-28-2016, 8:31am
Wow Pete, Jamie comes all that way and visits you? I think I am maybe a 1-hour car ride away from Jamie and we have only chatted through the Cafe and FB a few times.

I kidnapped his children Dan - he had no choice. ;)