American Lutherie

Editor-in-Chief Tim Olsen is the founding editor of GAL publications. Beginning with the Guild of American Luthiers Newsletter and the GAL Quarterly and Data Sheets in the early 1970s, which evolved into our quarterly journal American Lutherie in 1985, Tim has edited, rewritten, clarified, compiled, corrected, and/or combed over every article in every journal or book published by the Guild. His commitment to the Guild's founding principles of openness and sharing is evident in his stewardship of the Guild over the last forty years. Tim's interest in lutherie started as a twelve year old when he started his first guitar. He was operating his own shop at seventeen, and completed his professional lutherie career in his mid-twenties, when he began dedicating his full time work to the Guild and its publications. In his late fifties, he has a new workbench and has restarted his lutherie habit for fun.

Senior Contributing Editor Cyndy Burton is a classic guitar maker in Portland, Oregon. Cyndy's collaboration with the Guild started in 1988, and her background in editing as well has her lutherie experience made her uniquely suited to the job. Cyndy is also the primary organizer of the Musical Instrument Makers Exhibit in Portland. She's especially interested in French polish and other environmentally-friendly finishes.

Contributing Editor John Calkin has been writing and editing for American Lutherie from his rural home in Virginia since 1996. He has built and repaired instruments for many years in his own shop, as well as at Huss and Dalton. He is also an experienced gunsmith.

Contributing Editor R.M. Mottola's background is in engineering and he focuses on technology and physics in American Lutherie. A luthier since 1994, and an active researcher since 2001, R.M. also edits the GAL-sponsored online Savart Journal, which publishes research papers on science and technology of stringed musical instruments. R.M. lives and works in Massachusetts.

Contributing Editor Linda Stuckey is a word nerd with basic skills in woodworking and music. She has a background in publishing and is the former Associate Editor of Recording Engineer/Producer magazine. (And she was in a band with Melissa Etheridge when they were twelve-year-olds!) She lives and works in Puyallup, Washington.


Contributing Editor Tom Harper is a thirteen-year Guild member, building primarily classic guitars, and is our newest contributing editor. He took a couple years off to build a house, but he’s back at the bench now.

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