MEET THE Luthiers
FEATURED LUTHIER: MAEGEN WELLS, USA
MAEGEN WELLS GUITARS & MANDOLINS, USA
Maegen Wells, Luthier
VIGF welcomes Maegen Wells to our roster of 2018 Exhibitors. Maegen Wells Guitars & Mandolins is a one lady shop tucked in the great Redwoods of California. Maegen has been building guitars since 2006 and specializes in archtop guitars and mandolins. Each instrument is her own design and is built from scratch with her own two hands.
NIK HUBER GUITARS, GERMANY
Nik Huber, Luthier
Nik Huber carries on a more than 100 year old family tradition. In 1896 a heritage of woodworking expertise was born to proud parent Nikolaus Huber in a small village in Southern Bavaria. Today Nikolaus Huber IV carries that expertise forward in the form of exquisite guitars. Nik Huber Guitars was founded in 1996. Since then, the company grew slowly but constantly. Today a team of five highly skilled specialists builds approximately 220 hand-crafted instruments a year, with help from a little CNC machine.
M-TONE GUITARS, USA
Matt Proctor, Luthier
Matt Proctor is a guitar maker, sculptor and musician who has been building M-tone guitars since 2009. His art-filled studio is located in the heart of Portland, Oregon. Every M-tone guitar is one-of-a kind and meticulously hand made from rough milling of the wood to final setup. These instruments are defined by innovative shapes, finishes and materials. Matt draws on many techniques he originally developed for his cast metal sculpture, frequently incorporating acid-etched and patinated steel, brass, and aluminum components. M-tone guitars are known for their seductive hand-carved necks, impeccable fretwork, and unusual finishes.
LUTHERIE DION, CANADA
Simon Dion, Luthier
Simon Dion builds concert level classical and acoustic guitars. His goal is to make unique guitars at each and every build; you will never find two identical pieces. He loves every aspect of building such amazing pieces of art. The design of an instrument is as important as the sound it will produce; he strives for the perfect balance of a great sounding guitar with a unique look.
REILANDER CUSTOM GUITAR, CANADA
Michael Reilander, Luthier
Michael Reilander has been commercially producing guitar pickups and electronics since 2006. Not happy with out of the box electronics, Michael set out on a never ending quest for tone. He has experimented with hundreds of different tone caps, pots and pickup combinations. Little did Michael know, that this obsession for tone would lead to his own line of pickups.
DION GUITARS, CANADA
Dion Bews, Luthier
Dion Guitars is a one-man operation specializing in hand-crafted acoustic guitars. While the freedom of an independent craftsperson can offer a wide range of custom modification and design, the same belief informs every project: that the beauty of the acoustic guitar lies in the instrument’s essential function and that it should inspire use as well as admiration.
TUNATONE INSTRUMENTS, CANADA
Leila Sidi, Luthier
Leila Sidi is inspired by the vintage futurism of mid-century electric guitars. She pays tribute to them while accommodating contemporary manufacturing techniques and materials. Conventional and original components generate fresh instruments with iconic tonal character and creative spark. Sidi applies an updated futuristic vision of her craft, conceiving of electric guitars ergonomically suited to musicians of any body type.
TAYLOR GUTARS, USA
Write up to follow.
MCNAMEE GUITARS, CANADA
John McNamee, Luthier
John McNamee is a self-employed luthier of acoustic guitars, baritones and basses. He graduated from the Douglas College string instrument building course in 1986 under the instruction of Michael Dunn. John has built a variety of over 70 instruments over the years, and is also a songwriter and musician.
KAUER GUITARS, INC., USA
Doug Kauer, Luthier
"I'm Doug Kauer. I have a beard and an impressive flannel shirt collection. I also wear glasses. That makes me a 105% qualified luthier."
KAWAKAMI GUITARS, CANADA
Yusuke Kawakami, Luthier
To Yusuke Kawakami, building guitars is not just a job but his pride and passion. As a big fan of the Beatles and Deep Purple from an early age, he began his luthier training under his father, a master luthier at K.Yairi Guitars (company founded by his grandfather in 1936). In 1999, he moved to Vancouver and joined Larrivee Guitar to further advance his skills. In 2002, Yusuke settled in Vancouver permanently and established his own company. Now he creates fine crafted guitars and ukuleles at his workshop in North Vancouver, using the best local materials such as spruce in ideal moisture condition.
WILKIE STRINGED INSTRUMENTS, CANADA
Wyatt Wilkie, Luthier
Wyatt Wilkie began building instruments in 1999. He spent the following decade honing his skills in workshops on both sides of the Atlantic and, from 2007-2009, as apprentice and master craftsman to Bob Benedetto. Having hand-carved well over 100 jazz guitars and mandolins, Wilkie then set up shop permanently in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Wyatt is currently accepting students for his one-on-one archtop building master class.
LARRIVÉE GUITARS, USA
Today, we are a new generation of talented guitar makers - building instruments as extraordinary and unique as the people who craft them – and who play them. We are inspired by the passion, and guided by the lifetime of experiences of our leader, Jean Larrivée, whose legendary craftsmanship still finds its way into every guitar that bears his name.
POTVIN GUITARS, CANADA
Mike Potvin, Luthier
Mike Potvin has been designing and building custom electric guitars in his one-man shop since 2003. His designs have been featured in books and magazines, and are praised by players around the world for their balance, design aesthetics and build quality. Mike takes inspiration from class guitar designs, but is never bound by any "formula". His unique designs feature a nod to the past, and more than a hint of Mike's passion for the world of vintage sports cars.
FE TELLIER GUITARS, CANADA
Fred Tellier, Luthier
Fred Tellier has been building acoustic guitars, Irish Bouzouki and ukuleles since 2005 from his shop in Windsor Ontario. He prides himself on being open to ideas from clients, and his goal is to create an instrument with sound, playability and finish that both the client and he can be proud of.
LETAIN GUITARS, CANADA
Jeff Letain, Luthier
Jeff Letain has been a woodworker since the late seventies and shifted his focus to guitars in the late nineties. Maximum playability and the search for a tone and sound quality that excites passion of the guitarist is his main goal. For him, the guitar is a tool that is functional sculpture and the surface a canvas with a limitless field for expression.
DnA RYER GUITARS, CANADA
David Ryer, Luthier
Dave Ryer has always had a deep appreciation for fine woodworking, especially as it applies to musical instruments. He has nurtured my soul while learning the art of crafting high quality, acoustic guitars. Whether it's a classical, flamenco, steel stringed custom-designed guitar, each instrument will be unique, designed and built according to the desires of the player. Together, we will build a meticulously handcrafted instrument using the finest tone woods to ensure every clients experience exceeds their expectations. That is the goal of DnA Ryer Guitars.
DONTCHO IVANOV LUTHIER, CANADA
Dontcho Ivanov, Luthier
Dontcho Ivanov is a full-time Montreal-based luthier and guitarist for the Balkan gypsy band, Soleil Tzigane. He learned to build classical and flamenco guitars in the Spanish tradition with Hugues Lefort, and steel-string guitars in the California style with Mario Beauregard. In his cozy home workshop, he builds primarily Classical, Flamenco, Steel string Parlor, Gypsy & Nylon Jazz guitars. His instruments show a remarkably high quality of acoustic response and craftsmanship.
SKYTOP GUITARS, USA
Eric Weigeshoff, Luthier
Coming from a design and film background, Eric Weigeshoff is driven by instruments that are not only sonically viable, but interesting and unique aesthetically. A long-time rock climber, Eric's passion for the stone and natural world around him finds its way into his craft. He bridges time-tested method with new technique and thought to make player-focused, intimate guitars.
CATON GUITARS, USA
Kevin Caton, Luthier
Kevin Caton started building acoustic guitars in 1999. He attended the Roberto Venn School of Luthiery in 2006 and has been striving to build some of the worlds finest instruments since. Each Caton guitar is 100% hand crafted and intended to reflect the passion and personality of its builder and player.
VELLONE GUITARS, USA
Stefano Vellone, Luthier
Vellone Guitars is not only in the business of making exceptional instruments, but also developing and cultivating lifelong client-crafter relationships. Founder Stefano Vellone specializes in extended-range acoustic guitars for the modern fingerstyle player; his signature copper rosettes and inlays bring a beautiful and unique touch to his builds. Vellone Guitars is now proudly based out of the US.
COLOMA GUITARS, CANADA
Meredith Coloma, Luthier
Vancouver-based Meredith Coloma is recognized as one of the youngest professional guitar builders internationally. She currently runs a successful business handcrafting custom guitars and teaching guitar building at her Vancouver Guitar Building Workshop. As a luthier, Meredith aspires to use her innovative building talents to create original custom guitars that are characterized by aesthetic beauty and superior tone.
THÉO KAZOURIAN LUTHIER, CANADA
Théo Kazourian, Luthier
Théo was born in France in 1984, and arrived in Montréal, Quebec in 2011. Shortly thereafter, he enrolled in a 3-year guitar making program with Lutherie-Guitare Bruand. During that time, Théo joined the luthiers cooperative. "l'Atelier de la Corde," where he began restoring and repairing guitars, experiences which gave him much knowledge and enrichedhis building efforts. To this day, Théo continues to build high end guitars in Montréal.