Making up another spoke in the wheel that keeps the music machine alive are the creators of the string instruments. The luthier, as they are commonly called, are true artists who spend tireless hours designing and fine-tuning their instruments.
Much like the creative musician, these craftsmen honor their tradition by constantly improving upon their previous works by setting the highest standards for each successive piece. They always seem to have a great deal of appreciation and respect for the music played on their crafted tools – sometimes more than the musicians playing their instruments.
I am honored to have developed friendships with many outstanding craftsmen and recently two of my friends allowed me to ask a few questions.
Richard: Why did you choose to become a luthier and what is your most memorable experience that you are most likely to always remember?
Here is what Rick Leach and Dod Mohr have to say:
Rick: I built a banjo in high school shop (35 years ago) and from that time on a regular job seemed pointless.
Rick: I built a guitar for Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones. The high point for me was building a guitar for Merle Haggard, who I think is the most talented songwriter of the 20th and 21st century. www.richardleachguitars.com
Dod: Initially I had a fascination with violins and wound up beginning as an apprentice for the world reknowned luthier Paul Schubach. Somehow I got sidetracked onto guitars.
Dod: The many great relationships I have made throughout the years and being grateful that I seem to have the ability to turn someone’s problem into a positive experience.
Richard’s Note: I was lucky to sneak a couple of photos of Rick Leach and Dod Mohr working diligently at their craft.
Originally posted 2010-06-22 17:46:40.