I'm the son of a timber framer and visual artist, born in the first log cabin my father ever built and was raised as the 4th generation on that family farm. My grandmother, a Julliard trained pianist, exposed me to classical music at a young age, and I later came to study classical guitar performance at Shenandoah Conservatory. During and after conservatory studies, I built guitars for Gallagher Guitar Company in Wartrace, TN. I later worked in the Peace Corps and ran a non-profit organization. These experiences coalesced into the creation of my own workshop where I work full-time handcrafting classical guitars in Cookeville, TN. Owners of these guitars include performers and collectors around the world.
The word “handmade” is one the oldest, feel-good labels we can attribute to a product. There is nothing more important than how you feel about your guitar. No matter how much you objectify your judgment of an instrument, it’s going to be a short term relationship if you can’t feel good about it. “Handmade” is the prerequisite of each customer on the market for a concert quality classical guitar. But what does this word mean today and what qualities should its products possess?