For many years I have enjoyed woodworking. I loved making anything from dressers, chairs and bookcases, to bowls and pens. I had a little woodshop in the basement of my home where I secluded myself and spent time doing what I loved to do: cut, glue and sand wood.
In the early 90's I vacationed with a friend in Mexico and brought back a nylon stringed guitar and told my friend that some day I would learn to play the guitar. I came home to research classical guitar classes in Orange County and found a beginning course at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. That is where I met my wonderful guitar teacher, Greg Coleman. Through him, I learned to love and appreciate the guitar and its endless expressions of music.
I moved to Oakland, CA in the mid 90’s, where I graduated from Mills College. Still fascinated by guitar music and woodworking, I began to ponder the idea of learning to make a guitar. I continued to learn to play the guitar by studying with various teachers. Before leaving for the Bay Area, I had participated for a couple of years in a flamenco choir from San Diego. It was where I learned the most about the Andalusian culture and its wonderful music, flamenco. It was also that great experience that opened my eyes to the beauty of the flamenco guitar.
As a member of the Guild of American Luthiers (www.luth.org ), I attended the GAL Conference in July 2004 in Tacoma, WA . The week long conference presented countless workshops in all aspects of guitar building, and other stringed instruments. I have always admired the old Spanish builders and their approach to construction. I wanted to learn more about how they built their guitars on the solera, or workboard. In doing more research on the older builders and getting to the roots of the modern classical guitar, I discovered the works of Antonio de Torres.
Since I wanted to learn more about the traditional style of Spanish guitar building, I was fortunate enough to participate in workshops in Spain from 2004 to 2012 to study with the
great maestro, Jose Romanillos. It has been an intense challenge and a
great privilege to be taught by the maestro. I have admired his dedication,
hard work and love for the Spanish guitar. My ability to understand the
complex construction of the traditional style of building a Spanish guitar
has greatly improved since my visit and work with the maestro Romanillos.
I have also been an active member, and guitar instructor, of
SIMSC (Stringed Instrument Makers of Southern California)
www.simscal.com. The members have the opportunity to meet every
month and participate in presentations on important topics relating
to all aspects of guitar building. Anyone who builds any style of guitar
gains great detailed knowledge which assists in improving their skills.
I continue to explore and put to practice everything I learn about the
construction and craftsmanship, not to mention art, of the classical and
flamenco guitar. I hope that you find my site informative and fun.