Top Arts & Crafts Maker: Great Aswego Kazoo Factory

Congratulations to Great Aswego Kazoo Factory for winning Top Arts & Crafts Maker in the Great American Maker Search presented by ArtFire!

George Collins, aka Doc Kazoo, is truly devoted to his craft of folk kazoo making, and his work is amazing, we think you’ll agree…

George set himself apart by gathering his fan base for support and showed us his independence and dedication to handmade.  Every one of his items is carefully handcrafted by him!  We are truly lucky to have him as part of the ArtFire Handmade community.

GreatAswegoKazooFactory gms-artscrafts-badge George is an experienced folk kazoo maker born and raised in the foot hills of western North Carolina in an atmosphere rich in traditional bluegrass/folk music.  At a young age he was exposed to a treasure chest of “Carolina Style” traditional  handmade folk instruments, folk music and folk musicians.  He was then taught how to make his first wooden folk kazoo by his Dad in his homestead workshop in the summer of 1961.


The Great Aswego Kazoo Factory is not some big company or anything like that.  It’s the workshop of an old retired Navy Chief and the dream of an old sailor of where to spend the rest of my time making Carolina Style Kazoo and sharing the experience with folks around the world through video and still photography.  Perhaps inspire the next generation of kazoo makers.  Maybe pick a little guitar or ukulele and write few songs too.  The Doc’s goal is to keep having fun making kazoos and for the workshop to pay it’s part of the homestead overhead.

George Collins showing off one of his kazoos.

George Collins showing off one of his kazoos.

ArtFire: As a Great Maker, what inspires you to make the amazing things you do?

Doc Kazoo: The positive response to my handmade wooden folk kazoos from folks all around the world.  From professional musicians to family bands I am proud to have my instruments being enjoyed in over thirty countries literally around the world in a wide range of genres.  From folk to classical styles it has been my pleasure to collaborate with dozens of performing musicians on their kazoo ideas and create a true one of a kind high quality professional kazoo.

Custom Traditional Carolina Pine Folk Kazoo

Custom Traditional Carolina Pine Folk Kazoo

ArtFire: What makes your craft so special, compared to other makers who do the same?

Doc Kazoo: Each of my instruments are unique.  No two are ever 100% identical.  I have the largest selection of kazoo designs in the world that are each custom made for the individual customer.  I am the only kazoo maker in the world that allows customers the opportunity to see their kazoo being made via emails, daily Facebook post and Twitter update photographs and narrative.

6" Memphis Belle Custom Performer Folk Kazoo

6″ Memphis Belle Custom Performer Folk Kazoo

I am 100% unique in not only the number of kazoo designs available but in the fact that the majority of my kazoo sales are for “made to order” kazoos or kazoo collaborations.  I do not make “cookie cutter” style instruments.  No two kazoos are ever identical.

The Original 8" UkeZoo Handmade Wooden Folk Kazoo By Doc Kazoo

The Original 8″ UkeZoo Handmade Wooden Folk Kazoo By Doc Kazoo

ArtFire: Tell us more about how your love for kazoo making came about.

Doc Kazoo: I made my first kazoo in 1961 with my dad back on our ten acre small livestock homestead in western NC.  Over the years I have made quite a few kazoos and have designed custom kazoos for many performing musicians around the world in a wide range of genres.  From street buskers to large concert venues with music groups, and a lot in between.  All with 100% satisfaction by the musicians who use my kazoos.  Most of my kazoos are made to order for each individual.  This and my ever growing number of kazoo designs are what make my kazoos unique in the kazoo maker’s world.  I try to keep a nice selection of ready made kazoos available for immediate shipping.  However, I am generally busy making “made to order” kazoos.

Doc Kazoo also sent us a quick 60 second video telling us why he’s a Great Maker.  You can also find more of the Doc in his YouTube Channel.

Learn more about our #MakeHandmadeGreat campaign and nominate or apply for the Great American Maker Search.

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