Stay in Tune vol #95
By Luthier Patrick Podpadec
As I'm sitting down writing this article I can't help looking outside every minute or so to appreciate the absolute beautiful day that it is outside. After about two weeks of rain everyday it's finally just sunny and gorgeous without any humidity. It's hard to be inside on the computer on days like this.
Anyway, things have been going very good lately. The shop has been busy with many new projects and I have even been picking up some work outside of the shop too. The extra work is coming in handy because I'm getting ready to take my family (wife and son ) over to the “Emerald Isle” for a vacation in late Aug. I am so looking forward to the trip. It will be my first venture over seas and I plan to go visit one of my favorite guitar builders named George Lowden. I have been admiring his lutherie skills for many years and it will be a pleasure to finally get a chance to meet him.
Before I jump off to Ireland, I must tell you all about my upcoming event at The Madison Public Library. On Aug !0th I will be hosting a workshop about building guitars. It will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 or later if people want to stay later to ask more questions. I plan to bring a few of my “contraptions” that I have built and use over the years when I'm building different instruments. I am very glad that the Library staff is allowing me to showcase my work and to give me an opportunity to share my experience with the public. I can't tell you enough about how the library has helped me throughout the years when I was researching and trying to read everything I could about building guitars. In the early days I would go to the library and get every book I could on the subject .Even though many of the books were not located at the Madison branch, they are affiliated with many other larger libraries across north east Ohio. I was able to find almost every book that has been published about lutherie. This gave me the opportunity to read all of them first before I purchased them. As with a lot of things some reference materials aren't worth spending an arm and a leg for. I was able to decide which ones were of good value and then I could purchase them after I read them for a couple of weeks. I now have quite a very good personal collection selection of reference materials that I have acquired over the years. Every year or so I check out many new books that keep coming out on the market. Of course there is the internet now with YouTube and other data but I still enjoy the Madison Public library for all of it's other activities that they host from time to time .They often have opportunities for small local businesses to showcase their services and are very supportive to to members of our local community. I strongly recommend a nice visit to the library to enjoy all of the different events that they host, and please try to come to my workshop “A Day in the Shop of a Luthier” on Aug 10th .
I have recently been getting some things going on the “Harp guitar” that I started a few months back. Many times when A new a different project comes along I spend a lot of time “prepping” my next move in the building process. I believe that by going over the processes in my mind over and over I find that many mistakes can be avoided before I actually start cutting up my very expensive wood. I don't mind making an occasional mistake , but I like it a lot more when I don't make one. If that can be avoided my me repeating my procedures in my head or on paper time and time again, then so be it. To me it's time well spent. Many times by the time I do the thing that I have been worrying about doing for so long, it goes very well because I have “worried” out all of the problems from the process before I start it. Some people would say “That's just an excuse to take your time” Well that's true! Good things take time. Remember that Rome was not built in a day and either is one of my guitars.
I have always been sort of a “Perfectionist” I'm not saying I think that I do perfect work , far from it, but I am constantly trying to improve my skills . I take great pride in the things that I produce and hope that they last for generations to come. I feel that anything worth doing is worth doing well and so the extra time involved is really worth the extra effort. I do understand that there should be some sort of time frame attached to projects but I also believe that quality should take preference over a speedy delivery date. I also understand that time restraints are to be met in order to establish a reliable reputation, so it is this fine line that I walk. I have been very fortunate so far as to have very understanding clients . Another thing that I have trouble doing is saying “no” to some repairs that just eat away at my very limited time schedule. I have a soft spot in my heart for broken instruments. What can I say? I'm still always looking for a dedicated apprentice that is looking to learn a life long highly gratifying skill, so give me a call if your interested . Or come to the Madison Public Library on Sat Aug. 10th at 1:00 . Hope to see you there, and until then please Stay in Tune!
Patrick from Liam Guitars/ Wood-n-Strings