From Steve Toon:
Having come from a heritage of fine cabinetmakers, furniture designers and engineers it seems natural to have taken up guitar making.
I acquired my first guitar at the age of ten when my father found a broken one in a skip. Together we spent many hours repairing it and since then I became captivated by its sound and intrigued by its construction. I later built my first guitar at school while I was learning to play classical guitar. After leaving school I attended London College of Furniture to Study Early Fretted Instrument Making but left the course early lured by a career in the Music Industry as a live sound engineer. I did this for about 3 years before moving into the furniture industry and making guitars in my spare time.
Around 2004 I decided to stop working in furniture and concentrate solely on my guitar making as it was really my true interest and passion and have since then spent my time improving my guitar building as well as becoming a “go-to” guitar repairer. During my time building and repairing guitars I have come across guitars by notable makers and had the opportunity to study these first hand.
I have been making guitars for more than 25 years and am still fascinated by the process of turning beautiful wood into a living instrument of simple beauty which can produce versatile sound – extremely aggressive and strong, powerful and passionate or light and tender.
When I build a new guitar my aim is to make it respond to the player. I select the wood very carefully from my stock of aged wood, paying great attention to the soundboard, back and sides. I care a lot about the aesthetics of the guitar as I also think it should look good. I use traditional methods and work almost entirely by hand. My guitars are either French polished or varnished using oil varnish.
I have built guitars for John Etheridge, Gordon Giltrap, Blake Wilner, Ciyo Brown and Hayley Savage as well as many talented amateur and semi pro-players.
To contact Steve, feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 07810752342
About Stuart Christie
Classical guitar has been part of Stuart’s life since his time at university, and during first career. He is one of many luthiers who entered the profession after being inspired by Irving Sloane’s book “Making Classic Guitars”. He initially made guitars in his spare time from about 2000, finally switching careers in 2013 and setting up his professional workshop. Stuart is mostly self taught as a luthier, but with help from many other luthiers including Peter Barton, Stephen Hill and Pablo Requena. He has expanded on his knowledge by researching numerous published and internet resources, and by his own experience in the workshop.
His guitars are traditional in construction and sound having been influenced by Jose Romanillos, Torres and Hauser. He aims for responsive guitars which are easy to play and with a full palate of tone colours.
Stuart’s passion for guitar making is reflected in the standard of his workmanship including the rosettes and other decorative elements. His workshop is in the Hampshire countryside.
ABOUT JOSÉ MARQUES
José Marques was born in Portugal.
From an early age he became interested in the music of the guitar and other string instruments.
However, as it was necessary for many in Portugal at that time, at age of 14 José began his career as a carpenter, which he continued for many years with success, gaining much experience and skill in this field.
While living in Alentejo, Portugal, Jose was fortunate to be introduced to a traditional string instrument Luthier, Daniel Luz, and soon found the happiness of being able to learn the art of guitar making. José apprenticed for two years with Daniel Luz and was taught the art of building Portuguese Guitar, Viola Campaniça, Ukulele, classical guitar and several other instruments. All being built by hand.
After this learning time with Mr. Daniel Luz, José made a decision to increase his knowledge and understanding of various world established and respected Luthiers of past and present, learning their techniques and more about materials, etc. Today José lives in the UK in Bury St Edmunds – Suffolk where he has a small workshop building his concert guitars. José's main influences are: Antonio de Torres, Jose Romanillos, Hermann Hauser and Daniel Friederich.
Bury St Edmunds
Michael Edgeworth started his passion for guitar in his early teens on the electric bass and at age 16 decided to study classical guitar building at the Newark School of Guitar Making under the tutelage of James Lister. After immersing himself into guitar building, he opened his own guitar workshop at Bromham Mill where he works 200 hours building each guitar. His inspirations for his guitars are Vicente Arias, Robert Bouchet, Paul Fischer and Ignacio Fleta. Michael is adamant about using his own hand tools, makes his own herringbone, and favours Cypress and Birdseye maple woods. In July 2019, Artistic Director, Valerie Hartzell, performed on several of his guitars at the Paul Bunyan Church in Bedford. In 2020, Michael is upgrading his workshop and will be moving to the town centre of Bedford.
Phone number: 07446336013