Michael Watts' 'Luthier Stories', with Ervin Somogyi

Michael Watts' 'Luthier Stories', with Ervin Somogyi

I absolutely urge you to spare 37:55 of your time and enjoy this video. If you haven't ever happened to have heard the name Ervin Somogyi prior, he is a true icon of the guitar world and luthiery. Our friend Michael Watts visited him at his workshop and put together this inspiring video talk with Ervin and I loved every second. For anyone who is a fan of luthiery, guitars, design and even outlook on life, this is well worth a watch. Thanks for recording it Michael!
08 January, 2019 by James P Gascoigne
Meet the maker - Nicolai of Schorr Guitars

Meet the maker - Nicolai of Schorr Guitars

In recent years, I've really craved the unique. The guitar is a wonderful tool and outlet for musical creativity, but as the years go by and I see more and more of the same iconic guitars hanging in shops and at guitar shows, my desire to seek out 'different' is really becoming an obsession. The guitar has become more than just a tool for musical creativity to me. I was introduced to Nicolai's guitars by Florian of Millimetric Instruments, and I was captivated by the design and unique approach to every detail. It was clear there was more than just a guitar based background in Nicolai's designs and after being lucky enough to attend the Holy Grail Guitar Show this year and seeing his guitars in person, I knew I had to get him involved in my 'Meet the maker' series to learn more. So I welcome Nicolai Schorr of Schorr Guitars!

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Holy Grail Show feature - Jghg - Meeting a Jersey Girl, from Japan

Holy Grail Show feature - Jghg - Meeting a Jersey Girl, from Japan

Jghg (Jersey Girl Homemade Guitars) describe their instruments as compositions, and now I have had the honour of holding them in my own hands, I can see why. They're as fluid and creative as a beautiful musical composition, and executed with absolute finesse and perfection. I've been following this 4 luthier team from Japan for a while, out of pure awe for their unique looks. But upon finally seeing the three 'compositions' they had on display at the Holy Grail Guitar Show '18, I don't think I was quite prepared for just how exquisite their work truly is. This is the next level surely? 

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Meet the maker - Tom Sands

Meet the maker - Tom Sands

This series is somewhat self indulgent of me, I love discovering brands and guitar makers I've not come across prior, including that of the aspects of guitars I'm perhaps not familiar with either. I enjoy hearing about all the different luthiers approaches and influences, from a guitar geeks perspective it's really quite insightful. But one thing the series was lacking so far, was an acoustic guitar maker's thoughts.

Rewind about a year, and Nick Pourfard of Prisma Guitars asked me if I knew Tom Sands, an acoustic guitar maker friend of his. I hadn't sadly, and to my surprise he was UK based, and I was hooked instantly after a look at his website and media content. You could tell there was more than just guitars that Tom was influenced by. Super clean designs, that seemed to balance beautifully between pure functionality and getting the very best from each aspect of the instrument, to being incredibly aesthetically pleasing and unique. Over the course of the time first hearing of Tom's work, to speaking with him a little over social media, I knew he had to be the first acoustic guitar maker to join the Meet the Maker series and luckily he was keen too! So let's find out more about Tom, his influences, processes and work...

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Meet the maker - Florian Bouyou of Millimetric Instruments.

Meet the maker - Florian Bouyou of Millimetric Instruments.

The work of Florian Bouyou first came to the attention by the tip off from a friend via the visual social world of Instagram. I wanted to note this in particular as the visual aspect of that media platform is reflective of what perhaps demands your attention when first gazing upon a Millimetric Instrument. Handbuilt in Canada by Florian, A hypnotically simplistic style and design greets you, and it is clear that there are so many more influences than just the guitar world behind these instruments and the Millimetric brand aesthetic.. I was really keen to learn more about that. I've personally been infatuated ever since, keen to see more of his work and to learn more of the brand, so I knew at some point I had to get Florian involved in my Meet the maker interview series. Luckily for me, Florian was happy to speak with me! So let's delve in, as I'm itching to learn more!

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Meet the maker - An Appetite for Perfection, John Ambler of Ambler Custom Guitars

Meet the maker - An Appetite for Perfection, John Ambler of Ambler Custom Guitars

Over the years of playing the guitar, one thing that has increasingly sparked my interest almost more than playing in some instances is the skill of a great luthier and the work they create. 
One which really stood out to me, was UK luthier John Ambler of Ambler Custom Guitars. From the rough and ready 'Junk Yard Dog' model featuring a real metal coating, full of character and patina, to the absolutely stunning figured woods used on a range of his other models. John is truly a maker to watch, as already early on in his career, the quality of work is right up there with the very best and often surpasses!
In our series of Meet the Maker interviews, we caught up with John to chat about his work!

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Meet the maker - Nick Pourfard of Prisma Guitars

Meet the maker - Nick Pourfard of Prisma Guitars

Combining a love of skateboarding and the guitar, Nick set out to build custom guitars from the recycled hard rock maple skateboard decks . This has been no easy task, but the instruments coming out of his San Francisco based workshop have begun to be noticed world wide. I wanted to put together another in our series of 'Meet the maker' interviews with Nick, to give an insight into his craft, vision and instruments.

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How is our Walsh Guitars 'Doxa' coming along?!

How is our Walsh Guitars 'Doxa' coming along?!

The answer? Rather well indeed!

Drew has been putting in some serious hours on our 'Doxa' model that's being made for the shop, all to specs myself and Drew decided on and I think it's safe to say it's coming together beautifully.

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Meet The Maker - Social Distortion to Luthiery, a chat Drew Walsh of Walsh Guitars

Meet The Maker - Social Distortion to Luthiery, a chat Drew Walsh of Walsh Guitars

I began to notice a bit of a transition in the guitar market over over the last few years. One that saw guitar buyers yearning for something a little different to the norm. Instrument designs that perhaps break the conventional molds, and I think the times we are in at the moment, those alternative choices available have never been better. 

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