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Martin Guitar Design Workshop

wrkshp 506Originally envisioned as an exercise in pushing the limits of guitar design, this year's course boasted several guitars that made the transition to playable entity.

Chris Martin IV is steeped in tradition, but he has also been one who embraces alternative guitar building techniques and building materials. This course, held on the campus of Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, encourages its attendees to achieve their own unique vision of guitar building.

Mentored by master guitar builder Dale Unger and Martin's Director of Instrument Design Tim Teel, students executed their creations in 22 pound high-density modeling foam. This year's theme was based on the new Martin museum, giving students plenty of historical styling cues.

Several course graduates returned to the campus for orientation and the class received its yearly visit from Martin's Director of Artist Relations Dick Boak, who happens to be an accomplished instrument builder in his own right. Matt Artinger, a local builder/designer, was in attendance and offered his unique insight into the state of contemporary guitar design.

Each student received a Martin Backpacker for participation, and three prize guitars were awarded:

The Grand Prize winner was Tom Dougherty, and he received a Martin OMC-16ME maple guitar. Design, quality and presentation were used as selection criteria by the esteemed panel of judges for Martin Guitar.

The Participants' Choice Award went to Steve Mikisits, and his guitar was selected by his fellow students. The award was a Martin Graphite X guitar.

Howard Swidler was the winner of the Instructors' Choice award selected by Dale Unger and Tim Teel, and he received a Martin LX Realtree guitar.

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