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The Guild Of American Lutherie: Meet The Maker Tom Bills

Meet The Maker American Lutherie 125 A

The Guild Of American Lutherie: Meet The Maker Tom Bills

The Guild Of American Lutherie issueThis morning I had an amazing experience as I sat quietly drinking a coffee and reading the latest issue of the Guild Of American Lutherie magazine. Sitting here today in my workshop at the same bench I had when I first joined the GAL (Guild Of American Lutherie) back in 1998, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the years that have passed since then and the all the guitars, and the ups, and the downs.

What an amazing journey it’s been, and yet somehow, I have a sense that it is only just beginning. I thought about how back in my early days, I was immensely helped by the great articles and tutorials in those issues. Not only was I helped in a sense that all those luthiers so generously shared some things that enabled me to make better guitars or understand some concept in a better way, but I was also inspired.

The Power Of Inspiration

It got me thinking about the power of inspiration, of sharing a vision, of taking some of the good that has been handed to you and engaging in the generous act of sharing it with someone else. Sometimes the people you share it with will catch that spark. That one little spark can grab hold of their situation, it can transform their way of thinking, suddenly the glass is half full and the future is brighter. For me, it helped to elevate my vision for my guitars, for what they should be and what they could be, (maybe even for who I was) and gave me the idea that I COULD build guitars on a higher level.

Looking back now, it seems that those initial sparks all the way back in 1998 were igniting the fire in me for what is now one of the main focuses of my life, sharing my passion for the art of lutherie with you and people around the world who are interested in taking part with me(us) in this give and take as we endeavor to help and inspire each other and lift one another higher to build better guitars yes, but maybe even more than that, to celebrate and experience, and preserve a craft, a way of life almost.

Still Meeting The MakerGAL MM-1

This morning as I am reading the GAL magazine it’s a little different than all the times I read it before; I have the wonderful experience of getting to read and see the interview I did with my friend David Goen where I get to be the maker you’ll meet. It’s a weird thing to read your own interview, and now I am even writing about myself reading my own interview…totally weird. But somehow, it really helped me, in a way I kind of needed that interesting perspective because after all, I am still “meeting the maker”. Still learning every day more about why I am here and what my purpose is, changing and growing with the new challenges I face and hopefully doing my part in this give and take as we all endeavor to lift one another higher and share our unique giftings, our essential spark, our unique contribution into something bigger than ourselves.

The thing I love about reading the Meet The Maker section is that there are hundreds of luthiers who have been featured there, but each person has their own unique story and gift and brings their essential piece of this puzzle to share with the rest of us. Having my chance to be part of it has rekindled the fire in me and helped me to see things in a new way and my hope is that it will inspire you and fuel your vision and passion for reaching higher in your work and life too.

The Guild Of American Lutherie

In case you haven’t heard of the GAL or want to know more you can do that HERE. If you are not a member of the Guild OF American Lutherie, I highly recommend it. If you are a member of the Guild Of American Lutherie, then be sure to check out the Meet The Maker article written by David Goen where I share a little bit about my story in Issue #125 Spring 2016 – page 12-19.

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Be sure to check out the web extras (more photos and info) here

 

About the Author

TomTom Bills has been hand crafting one of a kind custom guitars for the top players and collectors around the world since 1998. Tom is also the author of the guitar making book/DVD set - The Art Of Lutherie - published by Mel Bay, and has written for and been featured in may publications both in print and online as well as several television and film spots. You can view and learn more about his guitars by visiting his website: tbguitars.comView all posts by Tom →

  1. steph otis
    steph otis05-12-2016

    Hi Tom, What I think is really wonderful about your guitar making career is that it’s so well documented. Nice!!!

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