With over 20,000 instruments having passed through her hands (give or take a few hundred), Helen is what you might call an expert . . . and of course, that would be an understatement. You might ask – an expert at what? And the answer would be, just about everything. She has probably detailed more instruments in her lifetime than anyone alive. And while you’re pondering that, consider this . . . she’s been detailing musical instruments for 29 years, and she’s still smiling. WOW! Her expertise in sanding and detailing, taping and scraping, building and repairing is simply marvelous.
Helen began her career in musical instrument building with the Flatiron Mandolin Company back in 1985. Her first job with Flatiron was sanding A5 and F5 mandolins. Her keen eye soon led to scraping binding and all other aspects of detailing white-wood instruments. The move from mandolins to guitars at the Gibson guitar plant placed Helen at the head of the sanding department. While she was sorely missed in the mandolin department, certainly the guitars could not have been in better hands.
In 1998 Helen joined the newly founded Weber Mandolin Company and once again was detailing mandolins. Throughout her years at ‘Weber’ (Sound to Earth), Helen broadened her abilities as she became the ‘floater’ . . . working in whatever building department needed help. Eventually this broad experience led her into repairs where she was able to focus her talents.
Fast forward to 2013 when Helen joined Steve Carlson at NC Solutions, with an eye on fitting into the upcoming launch of Zeta Violins. At Zeta, Helen is now working in every aspect of construction of the instruments, including machining, building, sanding, fitting, detailing, pickups, repairs, etc.
“Helen is the quintessential right hand man . . . I mean woman. What a blessing her presence and demeanor is in the Zeta shop.”