A compilation of seven West Coast artisans thoughts on a subject that is normally left to art historians and PhD candidates.
LARRY ROBINSON (Sonoma County, CA) has been building guitars since 1972 and specializing in inlaying since 1984. He has had customers on six continents; his work has been featured in many museum shows and is in permanent collections of the CF Martin Co., Fender Instruments, Gibson Guitars, and private collectors. DAVID GIULIETTI works in his studio creating jewelry pieces of enduring beauty and also engraves commissions for private clients around the world. John Mayer, Katy Perry, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, Jackson Browne, and David Grisman all have David s work in their collections. He worked on the Millionth Martin Guitar with world-class inlay artist Larry Robinson, and his work has been exhibited at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, California. BOB HERGERT started doing scrimshaw in 1978, strongly influenced by the Bellingham school in Washington State. A chance meeting with Eric Galletta of Galletta Guitars opened the door for Bob to do scrimshaw work for the Allman Brothers Band, the Beach Boys, and many other guitarists. He continues to work with other luthiers and inlay artists, including Larry Robinson and Harvey Leach. He collaborated with Leach on Martin Guitar s 1.5 millionth guitar da Vinci Unplugged now on display in the Martin Museum, and, more recently, with Robinson on the Steve Klein da Vinci homage. DAVID J. MARKS is recognized internationally as a master craftsman of fine furniture, turner, sculptor, and host of the television show WoodWorks. David started woodworking in 1972, making redwood burl tables. In the late 1980s, he shifted focus to wood turning and sculpture. His signature patina finish is a hybrid of multiple finishes, which combines painting, gilding (metal leafing), chemical patinas, and lacquering techniques. The complex layers result in a finish that may look ancient, metallic, or even of a petrified stone quality. MICHIHIRO MATSUDA was raised in Tokyo, Japan. Pairing traditional woodworking skills with an innovative sense of design and construction, he builds around eight guitars each year at his shop in Redwood City, California. He is striving to make instruments that integrate fine materials with his dedicated sound study. Each of his guitars is unique, personal, and individual. TOM RIBBECKE has been building and designing all types of guitars for over 40 years. He has developed an international reputation for building the arch top guitar, innovating in all areas of lutherie, and most recently for inventing/developing the Halfling line of carved top instruments, which hybridize the arch top and steel-string style guitars. Tom has taught guitar making for many years and recently has begun to develop the Ribbecke Center for Stringed Instruments to teach, create, and do research at his private shop in Healdsburg, California. ERVIN SOMOGYI is one of the grand old pioneers of American (and increasingly world) lutherie. While he started as a young guitar maker almost 50 years ago, his influence as a teacher is emerging as his most significant long-term contribution. He has lectured extensively, trained a number of the up-and-coming members of the younger lutherie generation, and added to the bibliography of modern lutherie by authoring two textbooks and well over a hundred articles on every aspect of the craft.