Posted on August 30, 2019November 20, 2019 by Dale Phillips Meet the Forester: Andrea Florinett Meet the Forester: Andrea Florinett by Greg Hanson previously published in American Lutherie #93, 2008 In the summer of 2005, I took a step that many an amateur luthier eventually must — I ordered European spruce tops from a European source over the Internet. The Internet has become a vital vehicle for commerce, but when it comes to selecting tops for acoustic guitars, nothing can replace hands-on inspection, even for those of us with less than full-time professional experience. The tops that showed up on my doorstep two weeks after I clicked the “Submit Order” button exceeded my expectations, but I liked some better than others. How, then, to solve this problem other than trekking off to Europe to test, tap, and touch the so-called Holy Grail of the Mother Continent, Picea abies? As a professor of German and a fluent speaker of the language, I threw caution to the wind and wrote to Andrea Florinett of Tonewood Switzerland in Graubünden, Switzerland. I took advantage of the three main reasons many teachers become teachers — June, July, and August — to ask Andrea if I could work for him for a couple of weeks on a volunteer basis. I can only imagine what reservations the Florinett family might have had, but a week later I received a very welcoming e-mail from Annette Florinett, Andrea’s wife, accepting my offer. Tonewood Switzerland is largely a family-run operation with one full-time employee, and they were glad to gain a helping, albeit inexperienced, hand. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.