I am currently teaching courses on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Both sessions are four hours. Evening class start at 6:30 and the morning class at 9:30. I can offer personal attention to each student because the maximum class size is five to six. The fee is $100 per month for either section and is normally payable by the month in advance. In addition, I can accommodate full-time students at the rate of $50/day. I do not anticipate taking on paid or unpaid apprentices at this time.
Each student works at his or her own pace. You can start at any time of the year although I prefer to enroll new students in the fall. Most students require a year or so to complete a guitar with the time being shortened considerably if they can do some homework. I can supply the materials, and some tools, at slightly over cost. You can also acquire your own raw materials or even build from a kit. Materials, including a case, for a standard guitar cost about $350. The small kit of hand tools needed will cost an additional $100 or so. The average student thus ends up spending about $1650 for the guitar, spread out over a year. Archtop guitars, mandolins, and violins can take as much as three times as long to build.
All aspects of instrument design and construction are covered as fully as possible, including acoustic theory, design, material selection, shop practice, safety, finishing, set-up and maintenance. I encourage discussion and questions and find that I often learn as much from my students as they from me!
I have been building stringed instruments for over twenty five years and have completed over three hundred to date. I have built more than sixty guitars of all types, twenty violin family instruments, and forty small harps as well as a number of other types of folk instruments.
I studied guitar making and repair with Thomas Knatt, lute design with Joel VanLennep, and violin making and acoustics with Carleen Hutchins. I have been giving lutherie instruction for the past six years and have helped more than twenty men and women to build great looking and sounding instruments. Most come back for a second!
I have published articles on instrument construction and acoustics in the Journal of the Catgut Acoustical Society and American Lutherie magazine. I have given lecture/demonstrations for conventions of The Guild of American Luthiers, The Associated Stringed Instrument Artisans, and The Northern California Associated Luthiers.
My instruments can be heard on recordings by the folk groups Frosty Morn and Castlebay, jazz guitarists Randy Roos and Wolfgang Muthspiel, and fingerstyle guitarist Ken Bonfield and in live performances by singer/songwriter Chuck Brodsky.
If you have further questions, feel free to call, write, e-mail, or stop by during shop or course hours.