Martin Guitar Design Workshop
Nazareth, PA - The Martin Guitar Design Workshop is a five-day course sponsored by C. F. Martin & Co. and held annually at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Now in its seventh year, this unique program provides an opportunity for students to express their creativity in guitar building.
The first day of class began with a Martin factory tour followed by a personal tour of the Martin Guitar Museum by Chris Martin. The students then enjoyed lunch with Martin employees and the visiting Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum members. After lunch the students returned to the college to begin drawing their designs.
Upon arrival at the college, the students were met by Tim Teel, Director of Instrument Design at Martin, and Dale Unger, master builder and owner of American Archtop Guitars. Matt Artinger, a local builder/designer and Martin collaborator, was also in attendance and offered his unique insight into the state of contemporary guitar design.
The theme for this year's project was the 175th Anniversary of C. F. Martin & Co. and individual creativity was emphasized. Designs had to be cut out of high-density modeling foam, then sanded and carved by hand. Each student had a total of five days to design, build and present their foam guitars for judging. Design, quality and presentation were used as selection criteria by the esteemed panel of judges from Martin Guitar.
All participating students received a Martin Backpacker, and three prize guitars were awarded in the following categories:
The Grand Prize winner was Dick Wolters, and he received a one-of-a-kind Martin 16-Series guitar.
The Participants' Choice Award went to Greg Davenport, whose guitar design was selected by his fellow students. The award was a Martin DX-175 guitar.
The Instructor's Choice Award went to Steve Wehr, his guitar design selected by Dale Unger and Tim Teel. The award was a Martin LX-175 guitar.
The course will be offered next year August 3 through 7, 2009.