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Moore Bettah

Before I knew Chuck, I was a fan of his work. I loved his designs and the musical quality of his ukes. Over the years we became friends and he’s truly an awesome guy! Clever, wise, humble, really a one-of-a-kind.

His wife Bonnie next to him there is equally special, always givin’ out good vibes. So these two found each other in the late 80’s on the island of Molokai. One of the things Chuck was pursuing at that time was scrimshaw art. Not everyone knows what that is but it’s the first American art form. First to the game but for some reason there aren’t many people now that can take a blade to a piece of mastodon ivory and come away with an image that’s even remotely beautiful. It might be the first American art, but it seems to be in it’s final moments and I understand, seems like a really tough medium. Somehow Chuck does it and this unique skill adds many more possibilities to his inlays as he mixes it in with all the other materials to achieve his vision.

A few years back I asked Chuck if he had any pictures of scrimshaw he did when he was on Molokai and, check it out, wow, visually powerful. Click for gallery size.

In 2005 Chuck and Bonnie moved to a gorgeous plot of land at the southeast corner of the Big Island. There Chuck set up to build ukuleles full time and hasn’t looked back. Or maybe he has, but his ukes have only gotten better and he keeps stretching his creative ideas into new territory.

Before I started doing Moore Bettah auctions at our online store, The Ukulele site, I would review them over here and sell to someone on a wait list we kept. So the last tab has links to a number of truly epic ukes. I rarely use that word. But I also wanted to document some ukes we’ve had with videos and thoughts. Some were auctioned, some went straight to customers, and some just aren’t online anymore. These are special ukes. They are concepts from the artist himself, Chuck Moore.

Btw, Bonnie makes beautiful and unique jewelry you can find HERE.

Corey and Kalei together sampled the last few that came in.

Comments 7

  1. I have a dream to get my own Moore Bettah uke one day. Hopefully he’ll be making them long enough for me to save enough and get on the wait list. 🙂

  2. How beautiful. I especially love the waterfall and mermaid themes, and they play very well. Thanks for the videos!

  3. I am lusting after one of the beautiful instruments! Love to look and listen every time one is posted!

  4. An artist from luthier , inlay artist , scrimshaw, innovation master , a true ukulele Monet. My personal favs are south sea and Hawaiiana themes .
    “Kauai dreams” and ” Wailele ” ( waterfall) ukes ( hard to choose ) and of course ” Pinup girl”

  5. I love my Moore Bettah. It’s one of the less adorned ones (no custom headstock, fretboard or soundboard inlay), but it is practically plays itself. Chuck has said that he puts his heart into each ukulele he builds, and I can sense that when I play mine.

  6. I had seen several of the Moore Bettah ukuleles in the magazine’s and just marveled at the artistry of Chuck’s work, but knew little about him or his ukuleles beyond the fact they were Freekin’ GORGEOUS!

    More recently, I started following Chuck’s builds on his Facebook page and not only learned about his ukuleles and their building process, but also the inspiration and thoughtfulness his puts into each of his masterpieces.

    This insight to how special Chuck is as a person and Luthier, became obviously apparent in one of his most recent builds, of the Hokule’a Ukulele that he made for auction, with the help of Andrew and crew, as a fundraising project for the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

    Not only did Chuck take us on a step-by-step photo diary of the build, he taught everyone the history and story of everything that surrounded the Hokule’a, the people and culture that were and continue to be a part of it…and to me, a tangible example of Chuck and the detail, heart and soul that he puts into his craft.
    Truly and inspirational and a compelling journey he took Us on, from start to finish.

    I came to appreciate that the Ukulele can me more than just an instrument to make music, but teach Us so many facets of life itself.
    I even learned that several people I knew, actually owned a couple of his Ukuleles…how cool is that!

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