Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Luthier

The Luthier by David R. Darrow 7" x 5" (17.8cm x 12.7cm)
Oil on Linen Panel In A Private Collection
El Cajon, CA – USA

About This Painting

This is a quick portrait of a luthier I admire. One of the most innovative, finest luthiers in the world.

Back in the 70s and 80s, word among acoustic guitar players was that the guitar to have was a C.F. Martin & Company D35, which, as they aged, reportedly just got better — and more expensive.

I believed that wholeheartedly until the evening a friend let me play one of this man's guitars. That night I dreamed I would one day own a Taylor Guitar.

Bob Taylor was apprehensive going into manufacturing, for what he had learned to do by hand, he wasn't convinced could be coded in to machines... his reluctance to approach mass production on guitars led to innovations in the guitar industry, development of high-precision machines and fundamental changes in guitar design — the first of their kind in over 100 years. His revolutionary neck-design is patented.

In 1974 Bob and two friends bought the company they worked for, a guitar company in Lemon Grove, CA. The following year, they had to let most of the remaining employees go, since they were out of capital. The company, renamed Taylor Guitars, made 37 guitars that year.

Needless to say, they made it through, and now turn out over 40,000 exceptional quality guitars a year, with their 350+ employees.

All of this came out of a love for quality guitars and the music they make.

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