Folk instruments run across time and space to reveal the ingenuity, the esthetics and the love of their maker as well as symbols and moves of a collective memory, a memory that goes as back as culture itself.
Walking arround the narrow streets of Psiri, the quarter of the lowdown and the hipsters of another time, we come across the craft shop of Georgios Karellas, who created this shop at 1992 with hack value and perspective to survey the art and the investigation of the instrument hand craft.
His many years of experience as a craftsman combined with his endless disposition for creation and the artistic imagination gives him the ability to build handmade folk and traditional instruments of high esthetic and construction quality. George Karellas' story begins many years ago. He was about 10 when he started working as an apprentice in his grandfather's workshop, making almost anything out of wood: from wine barrels to wash tubs and from wooden spoons to pack saddles. There he familiarized himself with the forest and wood as a material, en element that followed him to his life thereafter. His curiosity as a child was responsible for his first encounter with sound and in the school's handicralls he carved his first "tsafari", a flute made from reed leftovers. Circumstances made him gain a lot of experience on producing sound. It seems that the hours that he spent at the close - by monastery proved really helpful. There his curiosity for the secrets of the wood and its sound production as well as the depth and the stretch of sound itself, got bigger as he watched the monks call for each mass of the day by taping hard a long piece of wood, specially carved for that purpose.
Forced immigration led him to the heart of the professional instrument craftmanship, at the family workshop of his uncle, in Athens. After a 15 year hard and non stop working, he gradually acquired experience, mastering most of the range of instrument craftmanship.
Being sure about his abilities he decided to make a worksop of his own. Since then, restless and ingenious, he is devoted with passion to searching areas that concern the elements of natural acoustics and wood nature. With this qualification, with hack value and respect to the traditional techniques, he gave new impulsion to the construction of folk instruments and his own stigma in the field of instrument craftmanship.
Presently, taking into account the demands of our times, he spends his time between in the workshop and teaching-researching the instruments craftmanship. His teaching and research takes place in the Music Technology School of the Technological Educational Institution of the Ionian Islands