HGG12: Luthiers

Welcome to our continuing series on the12th Harp Guitar Gathering.  I just added several more photos to our last episode.  And now, after a quick lunch break, we begin our afternoon session:

First up was a special presentation by Dave and Anthony Powell on their special Freedom Tree Harp Guitar project.  I don’t seem to have any photos of this special performance and presentation (anyone out there?).  Here’s a link to their blog on the completed project (shown below).

This lead right into the Luthier presentations, with the Powells leading off with the current status of their Tonedevil production and factory (which we had visited earlier).

We were rather light on builders this year, which allowed those attending to showcase more of their work.

The Powells took us through their builds (custom redwood top above)…

…culminating in a don’t-miss-this photo op (with Alex de Grassi).

Benoit Meulle-Stef, who has never missed a Gathering (flying from Belgium), took us through his entire build history of his remarkable harp guitars.

…showing us the Ins (laminated braces, large bridge plates “tied in” to the braces)…

…and Outs of his builds.  This one was in attendance with owner Nancy Conescu.  It’s Ben’s prettiest harp guitar (and tiniest ever – still 16″ wide!).

He ended with the work-in-progress of an incredible new harp koto guitar design for our friend Hiro Takai.  This may beat them all!

Next up was Jim Worland, formerly of Illinois (being readied by wife DeAnn).  If that instrument doesn’t look like one of Jim’s custom harp guitars…

…it’s because Jim now lives in Pasadena, where he has teamed up with Scott Holloway to produce new American factory “Dyer harp guitars.”  (Scott, show in Jim’s workspace, was unable to attend)

They appear to be serious about gearing up for this new venture…

Jim has done a major re-organiztion of the entire harp guitar factory, and I mean “Felix Ungar” level organization!

A newcomer this year was Scot Tremblay from British Columbia, who builds gorgeous reproductions of various French and Viennese guitars, specializing lately in those with floating strings.

Images from his beautiful slide show

At the end, Scot demonstrated a recently completed Stauffer-style 9-string terz guitar with 3 sub-basses.  Delightful sound and fun to play!

There are more and more luthiers building harp guitars these days; I hope we see some of you next year!

Previous Chapter: HGG12: Saturday Morning Presentations

Next: The incredible, you-had-to-be-there On the Spot Harp Guitar Arranging Challenge!

  1. sb Says:

    Nicely posted, as usual, Gregg! It was good to have a little more time for each luthier. Scott, we hope you had a good time and will join us again sometime.

    Thanks to all the luthiers who participated! If you don’t build ’em, we can’t play ’em.

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