Photos by Brian Pickell
Which came first for you, woodworking
Guitars, definitely. I was a folksinger in high
school, and I have always been pretty handy.
The woodworking followed when I wanted a
dulcimer. I needed to make one, because I
couldn’t afford one. Building a dulcimer from
a kit when I was a teenager was the beginning of my building career.
Do you play guitar?
Yes! Not terribly well anymore. I am secretly
140 PREMIER GUI TAR JULY 2009
Did you learn inlay with Jean Larrivée?
Yes, it started at Larrivée, working with two
talented, innovative inlay artists: Tony Duggan-Smith and Heather McCrae (Tony is a gifted
guitar builder/restorer as well). Heather and
Tony designed the original inlay for Larrivée.
They were inspirational to me. My studies at
art college were also very influential. Inlay
allows me to express some rather fun concepts on the guitar. It’s the icing on the cake.
It seems like there are two sides to luthiery,
the crafts side and the artistic side. Some
builders lean a bit one way or the other, but
you seem to really strike a balance. How do
you see the role of your artistic side as it
affects the craft side of building?
I went to two art colleges and painted and
silkscreened, dabbled in photography and animation, yet I found myself in the woodworking
shop making dulcimers. I like the tangible side
of making an object. I like to see something
concrete at the end of a day, and sometimes
that was elusive with conceptual art, which
was the trend when I was in art college.
How did your Wedge design come about?
The Manzer “Wedge” was first designed and
implemented in 1984 on my 42-string Pikasso