Handmade Matters

There’s a corner in Pennsylvania where timeless guitar-building techniques never go out of style. Where tradition rules and is respected. Where handmade still matters. You can only create guitars with amazing tone when artisans do honest work with care and patience without taking shortcuts. Handmade guitars are special; they have a soul all their own, and you can hear it in the music they create. Every handcrafted Martin is a stand against a mass-produced, disposable, speed-obsessed world. See, hear, and enjoy the difference.

Featured Artisans

Cowboy & Donna

Donna and Rodger “Cowboy” both started working at Martin 21 years ago. Many couples have met while working at Martin, and that includes Donna and Cowboy. Donna works in Neck Fitting, and Cowboy works in Stringing and Inspection. They both take pride in knowing that the guitars they put their hands on will go on to make their owners very happy. They also both name the guitars in the Modern Deluxe Series as their favorites because of their superior tone.


Chris has been working at Martin for three years. He started in Binding and has moved on to Finishing. He enjoys Finishing because it is the point in the process where the guitars become beautiful. Chris’s favorite Martin is the D-35 because he is the proud owner of one. Chris cares about every guitar that he works on and loves seeing his workmanship on models used around the world.


Courtney has been at Martin for five years. Currently in Prefinish, she has also worked in Filling/Binding Cleaning and Top and Back Assembly. Her favorite part of her job is working on repairs, and her favorite guitars are anything with an ambertone finish. One thing she wants all Martin owners to know is just how many hands touch and care for their guitar and how seriously each person takes his or her step in the process to produce the highest quality instruments available.


Dan has been working at Martin for over 7 years. During his tenure, he has worked in Scheduling, Final Inspection, and Final Assembly. Dan’s favorite thing about working at Martin is imagining the person who eventually buys and enjoys the guitar he is working on. Dan believes that each guitar is a tool that can inspire the player and others to communicate and grow. Dan’s first guitar was built by his grandpop from a kit that he bought from Guitar Maker’s Connection. Dan’s favorite Martin model is the J-40 because it’s big and bold yet classy and elegant.


Dawn has been working at Martin for over 7 years. During her tenure, she has worked in Prefinish, Final Assembly, and Final Inspection. Dawn’s favorite thing about working at Martin is getting paid to play guitar and learn the ins and outs of building them. Dawn is proud to inspect every guitar that comes across her bench as if it were her own. Dawn's first guitar was a Martin custom that her father encouraged her to design. A year later, she started working at Martin, and the rest is history! Dawn’s favorite guitar is the OM-42 for its original look, delicate inlay detail, and beautiful tone. 


Ed has been working at Martin for eight years. His wife has also worked at Martin for the past 15 years. Ed currently works in Final Inspection, where, as a guitar player for over 40 years, his favorite part of his job is setting up and playing premium instruments every day. Ed’s favorite guitar is the D-28 Modern Deluxe because of its balance.


Evan has been working at Martin for seven years, which includes stints in Final Polish, Sanding, Spraying, and, currently, Polishing. Like many Martin employees, Evan plays guitar and wants everyone to know that he puts his heart into each guitar he works on. He will not let a guitar leave his hands if it is not up to the same quality he would choose for himself. Evan’s favorite models are the OM-42 and D-42 due to the classy pearl appointments and combination of spruce and rosewood.


Jody has been at Martin for 33 years. He has worked in six different departments during his tenure and currently works in the Custom Shop. His favorite thing about working in the Custom Shop is the opportunity to work on high-end instruments and to see the look on new owners’ faces when they first meet their guitar. Though he sees a lot of detailed custom work, his favorite instrument is the D-41 for its traditional look and feel. 


Katie has been working at Martin for four years and has spent time in Stringing and Polishing. Her aunt and uncle both work at Martin as well. Her favorite part about working at Martin is working on the tour route, where she has the opportunity to answer questions from visitors who have traveled here just to experience where Martin guitars are made. Her favorite model is the HD12-28 because of its exquisite sound. As a player herself, Katie makes sure she puts her best quality work into each guitar she works on.

Kim & Heather

Kim has worked at Martin for 18 years, and, for the past eight years, her daughter Heather has worked at Martin as well. Kim currently works in Rim Assembly, and Heather works in Prefinish. Both take pride and comfort knowing that they work for a company that has been here for over 180 years. Heather particularly sees this reflected in the vintage-inspired style of her favorite models, the 000-28 Ambertone and 000-28 Sunburst.


Mercedes has been working at Martin for 15 years and is currently in Binding and Prefit. Mercedes’s favorite thing about working at Martin is being a part of making something that can instantly lift someone’s mood and even change the world. Mercedes’s favorite Martin is the OME Cherry because it is crafted entirely from sustainable FSC®-certified woods.


Pete has been at Martin for 17 years and currently works in Customer Repair, where he has the honor of restoring vintage Martins, occasionally from the 1800s. His favorite part about the job is being able to hold the company’s history in his hands. He treats each instrument as if it were his own prized possession. His favorite guitar is the 000-28 Modern Deluxe for its new take on a classic instrument.


Rachel has been working at Martin for 4 years and has been in Prefinish since the beginning. Rachel spends her time sanding bodies and necks, diamond shaping, reworking, and sizing. Rachel’s favorite thing about working at Martin is knowing the finished product will be the reason someone smiles. Rachel’s favorite Martin is the D-45 because of its beautiful pearl inlay around the body and the extra time and care it takes to finish. Rachel puts her heart into her work, the same as musicians put into their music, and she enjoys knowing they are tied together through music.


Randy has been working at Martin for over 25 years. Randy has spent most of his tenure in the Sawmill and Machine Room producing the many thousands of parts that are used to build our guitars. Randy’s favorite thing about working at Martin is taking such great pride in the products he produces and knowing the employees put their hearts and souls into getting each guitar just right. For Randy, working at Martin is really a family affair, with the company employing his father for 47 years and currently employing his wife, aunt, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law. Randy’s favorite Martin model is the D-18 Modern Deluxe because it sounds amazing. 


Stephanie has been working at Martin for over 22 years. During her tenure, she started out making strings and went on to work in Neck Assembly, Customer Repair, and Final Assembly. Stephanie’s favorite thing about working at Martin is using her hands to fix things and knowing the craftspeople take great pride in making Martin guitars, no matter which model they are working on. She is fascinated by how many family members work at Martin and how many married couples met while working here. Stephanie’s favorite Martin model is the D-45 because of its sheer beauty.


Suzanne has been working at Martin for seven years, beginning in Final Assembly and now in Final Inspection and Stringing. Her favorite part about her job is being the first one to hear a guitar’s sound after it has been strung for the first time. Her favorite guitar is an OM-28 because of the body size and sound.

Still Handmade.

Still the Standard.