1973 – 2023
50 Years, what a Life!
When I was building those first guitars in '73 I was already making my living as a luthier. And from the struggles and successes of the first years I still never imagined that it would be such a long and fulfilling journey.
I had no intention to turn this into a larger enterprise, always just wanted to be the artisan working in a small shop. And that hasn't changed at all over time, I'm still working mainly with hand tools, enjoying the peace and quiet of working in that time-honoured tradition. I'm not very competitive. I never wanted to be “ The Best”, yet always tried to do the best that I could possibly do. This kind of striving for quality and beauty has been guiding me right from the start. Actually it was part of why I chose to become a luthier. It allowed me to be uncompromising in my work.
There's a bit of an addiction in building guitars. Always looking forward to building the next one, wanting to try out new ideas, or being inspired by the quality of a piece of wood that just needed to be turned into something that sounds amazing.
And that brings us to:
The 50 Anniversary Archtop Guitar
This beautiful 25 year old cello top billet has been sitting in my shop for while. Because it's so oversized for an archtop I've always put it aside for that special guitar. But now its time to use it, not just because it inspires me to build this anniversary guitar but also because this might just be the last archtop guitar I'll build. After all I'll be 79 years old by the time its finished.
The back will be spectacular 20 year old Big Leaf maple with a tight and even curl. So far I'm not certain on the other features, not even the size or the finish, certainly not a lot of inlay - but the timeless simplicity I usually strive for.
I'm hoping to document the building of this guitar in a video and post it on line. As guitar building with the help of CNC machines is replacing the traditional art of building with hand tools more and more, I’d like to record this lost art and share it with a lager audience.