Our 2021 Exhibitors

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 steve@stevetoon.co.uk 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.

Contact information:

Email: stuart@stuartchristieguitars.co.uk

Phone: 07768131330


From the 2020 Festival