My lutherie studies began with a five-month guitar making course. Subsequently, I became an apprentice to one of the most famous and respected acoustic guitar makers in the United Sates: Ervin Somogyi. During my apprenticeship, I had the pleasure of working alongside Michi Matsuda, one of the most creative modern guitar makers.
During my apprenticeship with Ervin, I learned the basics of all things lutherie. He has one of the most universal understandings of the guitar, is a great craftsman, and at the same time he also has a great sense of humor, generosity and patience.
It is amazing how much his teachings still come to mind while I'm doing anything in my workshop. I'm sure all his pupils would say the same. I would not have a career in guitar making without him.
After my stint at Ervin's shop I had the privilege of visiting with the great luthier Taku Sakashta. The pictures in the Sonoma countryside where he had his shop at that moment bring me back to an exciting time of learning and camaraderie. Unfortunately, Taku was tragically killed by a sociopath and we lost one of our good friends and most talented luthiers.
So...every time I bend sides, glue some wood, tap or flex some tops or do some finish sanding, I go back to the Bay Area. It is inevitable.