About Lutherie

By definition, a luthier is a craftsman who builds or repairs stringed instruments and has specific woodworking skills applied to the craft.

master luthier has formal training, often by way of apprenticeship with other master luthiers and then has many years of experience practicing these skills. These skills enable the luthier to build stringed instruments from raw materials that are then incorporated into a finished guitar, mandolin, fiddle and other stringed instruments.

Josh Reese with Wayne Henderson

There are relatively few master luthiers in the United States. This is because building a stringed instrument is typically not a profitable endeavor, due to the time, care and quality that is involved with the process. A guitar builder simply cannot compete with manufacturers who mass produce guitars. Josh Reese spent years learning with the masters in guitar and mandolin building: Wayne Henderson of Rugby, Virginia, the late Gerald Anderson of Troutdale, Virginia and Spencer Strickland of Lambsburg, Virginia.

Josh in his Mars Hill, NC Workshop

Josh now works with Wayne and Spencer, as well as Marty Howard of Munroe Falls, Ohio as they share their wisdom with the next generation a apprentices. They conduct three guitar building workshops a year in Marion, Virginia at The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts.

Henderson Class: March 2020