To me, the most exciting part of guitar building is about entertaining the basic creative impulse to imagine something perfect and then attempt to bring it into the material world knowing full well that it isn't truly possible. In our minds, we can conceive of honing a perfectly sharp edge on a chisel, but in reality if we magnify it enough, it will look crude and full of scratches. We are limited to the physical properties of our materials, tools and our ability to use them; never the less, we keep trying. We can always do a little bit better if we pay more attention; a flat surface could always be a little bit flatter, a miter could be a little bit tighter and a finish a little bit cleaner. This is the challenge and the struggle of lutherie that I enjoy.
I aim to build each guitar with as much intention as possible. I use the best quality materials available and put an emphasis on simplicity, beauty and durability. My methods are relatively traditional on the whole. I use mainly animal hide glue, french polish of shellac finish and pumice for pore filling.
I don't believe that one style of guitar is inherently better than another. Every musician has varying needs from his or her instrument and, likewise, every instrument has requirements from its musician in order to sound its best. That being said, I am personally most intrigued by a few types of classical guitar construction. The first is the relatively simple and elegant style of guitars built by Antonio de Torres. These can be some of the lushest, most intimate and lyrical instruments and yet still project very well in a concert hall. On the more contemporary side of the spectrum, I have been most inspired by the guitars of Robert Ruck and Antonio Marin Montero. With my concert model, I endeavor to build an instrument with the brilliance, balance, timbrel palette and full dynamic range that players value in a concert instrument. At the same time, I always prefer my instruments on the lighter side and to still breath somewhat like a traditional Spanish guitar.
I am originally from Seattle, USA, but I recently moved to Graz, Austria. I am mostly self-taught as a luthier, but I owe a huge amount of thanks to Robert Ruck for inviting me to stay with him for a short while and sharing much of his philosophy and approach to guitar building. I have also received a fair amount of help and encouragement from Seattle luthiers Rick Davis, Cat Fox and Greg Oxrieder as well as Seattle-based guitarists Michael Nicolella, Michael Partington, Kevin Callahan, Jason Williams, Robert Vierschilling, Matt Anderson and Bill Clements and the rest of the Seattle Classical Guitar Society!
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you!