In the heart of Lower Nicola, a talented woodworker is striking harmonious chords by building unique guitars as a passion project.

Ernie Pawliuk said woodcrafting was always part of his life.

“I’ve worked with wood since I was a child,” he said. “So it’s something that’s just really part of me.”

Now, his guitar project has started off after he watched other crafters building their own guitars. 

“Six years ago, I built my very first guitar,” Pawliuk said. “And now I am on number 17.”

Pawliuk spends hours at his workshop in the back of his house meticulously crafting every aspect of his guitars. The process begins with the careful selection of the finest woods, where each piece is chosen for its acoustic properties, grain pattern, and overall aesthetic.

He said he takes great joy in the creating process of it all, from designing the shapes to working on the wood and the electronic parts.

“I just start, you know, cutting (the wood) so I mean, that is its own thing that comes to life,” he added. “Every guitar I build, after I finish I say to myself ‘wow, that was not what I was aiming for, it’s just always better.”

While he draws inspirations from classic designs, such as the ‘Gibson flying v’ or ‘Fender telecaster’, Pawliuk makes sure that his guitars are not only exceptional in sound quality but also visually stunning.

“It’s just a satisfying feeling to have something that looks nice, yet functional,” he said.

As a few local artists have purchased his guitars, Pawliuk said this is a way to leave his legacy behind. 

“Ultimately, my goal is to have them all up somewhere being played,” he said. “What’s cool is like when I’m gone, these guitars are still gonna be out there floating around being played, maybe handed down and within families.”