A lifelong love affair with Hawaii and the South Pacific compelled potter and artist Chuck Moore to move to the island of Molokai more than twenty years ago. With the abundance of tropical woods around him, he decided to expand his art into wood carving, and for a while, he made sculptural and architectural pieces that wound up in many homes throughout Hawaii.
The story of how Chuck got into the ukulele trade begins when a local stopped by his shop with the biggest coconut he’d ever seen and asked, “Hey brah, you make me ukulele out of dis?”
Now Chuck lives on the big island of Hawaii and operates Moore Bettah Ukuleles, building ukuleles full-time with woods found locally on the island, including koa, mango, and kiawe.
I learned about Chuck’s remarkable work through Lee Marshall, inventor of the Knew Concepts Hand Saw, which has become Chuck’s preferred tool for the beautiful inlay work on his ukuleles.
“I have no doubt that every inlay artist will own one of these saws soon,” Chuck says about the Knew Concepts Hand Saw. “I tell people it’s not something you absolutely need, but you want it absolutely! It’s revolutionary.”
As beautiful as these pieces are to look at, this post wouldn’t be complete unless we got to hear one in action! The video below shows former lead guitarist and vocalist for Fleetwood Mac, Rick Vito, playing on a Moore Bettah Ukulele with the Island Rumours Band.
Feeling the joyful spirit of the island? You have to check out the official web site for Moore Bettah Ukules. There you’ll find a gallery of Chuck’s work and a fascinating tour of how he makes a ukulele, step by step.