People always want to know what Crow Hill is. Or, if it is the Crow Hill off Highway Such-n-Such. For me, Crow Hill is that place where music and musician meet–"those moments where there is only vibration and rhythm and nothing more. Where expression, awareness, and clarity can be found, independent of the outside world.
When I made the decision to pursue lutherie, I did so with the intent to build instruments that are aesthetically appealing, but more importantly, instruments that sound great and feel right. I want my customers to develop a connection with their instruments–"great tone stems from the bond between the instrument and the musician.
I begin each instrument by hand selecting wood in order best to embrace grain orientation, figure, tonal characteristics, and color in the completed instrument. Different woods bring out different properties of tone, sustain, response, and clarity. I assemble an array of woods in order to develop a strong, stable instrument with a broad pallet of tonal frequencies and resonance. This can then be further refined through hardware and electronic selection.
I believe Mother Nature is a better artist than I can ever hope to be. I choose to utilize dyes and stains only minimally, in order to reveal and complement the wood's innate beauty. I love to emphasize the natural colors, textures, and intricate grain patterns as well as showcase any of the imperfections that give the piece a unique personality.
Every detail of every instrument deserves my attention. I carve the neck, heel, forearm relief, and gut cut all by hand, paying attention to weight and balance, among other things. My focus, here, is on comfort and playability.
The final product is an instrument that has a unique look, a broad pallet for versatile sound, and a comfortable, playable feel. Each instrument is a reflection of me and my ideas of what a playable instrument is.
My first shop was in an old machine shed on my grandfather's farm–"and I loved it there. I spent my days working with my grandfather and my nights working on some of my first designs.
Now, I have a nice 400 square foot brick shop at home. It's the perfect size for Crow Hill : small enough to be efficient but large enough to handle all necessities.
I have spent a considerable amount of my life in and around a wood shop. The earliest days included a diaper, cowboy boots, and my trusty two pound hammer. From 2 x 4 and rubber band guitars when I was a kid to furniture, cabinets, class projects, etc. as I was growing up, the shop was where I was always happiest. The next chapter of my obsession began at 15 when I bought my first guitar –" that guitar changed everything.
I have never picked up a guitar that couldn't be made to sound good. From the cheapest, throw-away guitars to the most exotic, expensive instruments there is some detail or element that a player can connect with to transcend that threshold between noise and tone. My designs are continually evolving to incorporate more and more of those details and elements (though sometimes intangible).
When my wife and I found out we were going to be parents in 2007, I decided if I didn't turn guitar building into a full-time job then, I might never get the chance. So we did it together. My wife put together a website and learned photography. I put together some guitars to show the world.
And now, I have three little helpers for my shop.
Send me an email and we will either arrange a time for a phone call or exchange a few emails to get an idea of what you have in mind. At that point I will provide a ballpark estimate of the cost of the project and a time frame for the design phase, start date and completion of the build. If you would like to continue after this point I ask for a $500, non-refundable deposit. That will reserve your place on the build schedule and move the project forward through the design process. Once we have established the details of the project and determined a final price, I ask for one third of the remaining balance. When the actual building process begins I ask for the second-third. And, the remaining balance plus shipping is due upon completion. Please keep in mind that changes will affect the price and possibly delay the project.
|w/ select top and inlay these average about||$4000|
|these usually end up at about||$4500|
|Base price (4-string)||$2600|
|5-string base price||$2800|
If you have any questions about the ordering process, or about my guitars in general, feel free to ask. I will respond to your inquiry personally.
I accept checks and PayPal payments (PayPal orders are subject to additional fees).