GAL Authors

The sharing of information is what makes the Guild work; sharing helps individuals and elevates the level of the craft. With the exception of some material generated by GAL staff and contributing editors, articles published by the GAL are voluntary submissions. Our member-authors are motivated by a desire to benefit others with what they have learned, and to support the give-and-take system employed by the Guild. From our very first newsletter in 1972 to our current journal, American Lutherie, we’ve facilitated an ongoing conversation that has brought about a new Golden Age of lutherie.

In those forty-six years, we have brought you the work of over twelve hundred volunteer authors. That’s an astonishing number when you think of it. Below, we feature a few of our active authors. Click on any one of them to see a complete listing of all the articles they have written for us over the years. To see a complete listing of all our authors, go to our search article abstracts page.

Want to become an American Lutherie author? We encourage members to share their knowledge, techniques, experience, interviews, and opinions through their contributions. We welcome submissions large and small, and on any topic related to lutherie. See our guidelines for details on how to submit articles and plans.

Michael Bashkin

Before becoming a full-time luthier, nineteen-year Guild member Michael Bashkin was a soil scientist for the U.S. Forest Service.

Federico Sheppard

Twenty-six-year GAL member Federico Sheppard was born in Mexico and began building guitars in 1979. He now splits his time between workshops in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Carrion de los Condes, Spain. He is quite likely the Guild’s globe-trottingest author.

Mike Doolin

In his sixteen years of full-time guitar making, twenty-seven-year Guild member Mike Doolin made classicals, flattops, archtops, electrics, semi-hollows, and harp guitars. He has now retired from professional lutherie to play music full time. This doesn’t mean he has quit building guitars, it just means he gets to keep them all.

Harry Fleishman

Harry Fleishman designed and built his first electric upright bass fifty years ago. He’s a luthier, a lutherie teacher, and a designer to guitar factories. He has been a GAL member since 1985 and is a frequent author and convention presenter.

R.E. Bruné

Classic guitar maker, dealer, collector, and expert R.E. Bruné was on the Guild’s very first membership list in 1972. He organized our 1975 Convention, and has written and lectured for us many times.

Mónica Esparza

Sixteen-year GAL member Mónica Esparza is an amateur maker of classical guitars. She is an intrepid international traveler and has attended multiple seminars by José Romanillos.

Charles Fox

Thirty-year GAL member Charles Fox was present at the creation. His lutherie schools, beginning in Vermont in the early 1970s and continuing to California in the 1990s and Oregon today, have set scores of luthiers on the right track to creative and efficient guitar making. He is a frequent American Lutherie author and Convention presenter.

John Calkin

Thirty-four-year GAL member John Calkin went to gunsmithing school, then started making guitars and other insturments. After many years in his own shop he went to work for Huss and Dalton and worked there for most of twenty years. He is a contributing editor for American Lutherie magazine.

Cyndy Burton

Forty-one-year member Cyndy Burton is a classical guitar maker with a particular interest in French polish. She is also a contributing editor for American Lutherie magazine.

Mark French

Sixteen-year GAL member Mark French started making guitars in 1991 while working as a civilian engineer for the USAF. Since 2004 he has been a professor at Purdue University and is now teaching instrument design and manufacturing there.

Jeffrey R. Elliott

Forty-four-year member Jeffrey R. Elliott has been a full-time maker of fine classical guitars since he apprenticed to the late Richard Schneider in the 1960s. He is a frequent contributor to American Lutherie magazine and the GAL Conventions.

Evan Gluck

Fourteen-year GAL member Evan Gluck has been called (by Google), “The world's best guitar repairman.” Evan was a popular presenter at the 2011, 2014, and 2017 GAL Conventions.

Stephen Marchione

Twenty-nine-year GAL member Stephen Marchione spent his earliest years in Texas, then Italy, then Texas again. He went to New York City to make it as a guitarist, but ended up becoming a luthier. Now he’s back in Texas and at the top of his game.

R.M. Mottola

Back when he had what his testy creditors so callously refer to as “a real job,” twenty-three-year GAL member R.M. Mottola was an engineer. He’s now a luthier and a contributing editor for American Lutherie magazine.

Erick Coleman

Erick Coleman has been repairing guitars for over 25 years. As senior technical advisor at Stewart-MacDonald, Erick participates in the research and development of new tools, writes product instructions, and educates the staff. He has conducted numerous guitar repair workshops at conventions and schools.

D. and F. Sinier de Ridder

Nine-year GAL members Daniel Sinier and Françoise de Ridder opened their Paris workshop in 1971 and have restored about two thousand antique plucked string instruments for public and private collections. They have published two books about guitars made in France between 1650 and 1950.

Charles Rufino

Charles Rufino studied at the Newark School of Violin Making in England and worked under “Nigo” Nigogosian of New York and Carl Becker of Chicago before opening his own shop in 1984. He is a full member of the AFVBM and the ISVBM.

Robbie O’Brien

Fifteen-year GAL member Robbie O’Brien was born in Germany to American parents, grew up in Atlanta, learned to make guitars in Brazil, and now teaches lutherie in Colorado.

Jay Lichty

Ten-year GAL member Jay Lichty builds custom guitars and ukuleles.

James Condino

James Condino has been building mandolins and guitars for over thirty years. He’s a fifteen-year GAL member, a Mandolin Magazine columnist, a Fine Woodworking author, an outdoor adventure guide, and a frequent American Lutherie contributor.

Graham McDonald

Graham McDonald is a mandolin builder who has published four books on instrument making. He has twenty-nine years of GAL membership under his belt and despite living on the other side of the globe, he has attended four GAL Conventions and been a presenter at two of them.

Brian Michael

Repeat convention presenter Brian Michael started repairing instruments at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in 2002 and still loves it today.

Kevin Aram

Sixteen-year GAL member, GAL Convention lecturer, and American Lutherie contributor Kevin Aram lives and works in rural North Devon, England where he makes fine traditional classical guitars.

James Buckland

Twenty-six-year GAL member James Buckland is immersed in guitar as a performer, professor, and luthier. He specializes in playing and building guitars of the Romantic era.

Juan Oscar Azaret

Twenty-three-year GAL member Juan Oscar Azaret is a native of Cuba who immigrated to the USA in the early 1960s. He is a professional luthier and a teacher of electrical engineering. He serves on the board of the Boston Classical Guitar Society.

C.F. Casey

Forty-two-year Guild member C.F. Casey built his first dulcimer back in 1978 and studied with guitar maker Bozo Podunovac in 1980. Fred has lately been building a lot of ukuleles.

Dave Cohen

Twenty-year GAL member Dave Cohen built his first mandolin in 1973 while a graduate student at Florida State U. He taught college chemistry and did research in Richmond, Virginia, from 1974 to 2003. He returned to lutherie in 1997, and in 1999 began a collaboration with Dr. Tom Rossing, researching the physics of mandolin-family instruments.