To me, guitar making 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 really possible. It's like trying to hone the perfect edge on a chisel or plane blade. In our minds, we can conceive of an infinitely subtle edge, but in reality it can't really exist. If we magnify it enough, it will look crude and dull. 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 a little bit tighter and a finish a little bit cleaner. This is the challenge and the struggle of lutherie.
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 my shop 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 also have received a fair amount of help from Rick Davis, Greg Oxrieder, Michael Nicolella, Bill Clements and all of the guys at the Rosewood Guitar shop.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you!