lu·thi·er (noun): a maker of stringed instruments such as violins or guitars; see also Doug Unger. Doug grew up in Ohio, trained as a fine art painter, is a musician, and is widely know for his work as a luthier and teacher. His instruments are highly valued and appreciated for the detail and genuine craftsmanship that he injects. However, his willingness to share his knowledge and craft with other builders and musicians may be a contribution to music that's just as valuable. Doug is one of the artisans joining us this year at the Early American Artisans Fair in November.
What is your skill/craft?
How long have you been doing this?
How did you get started?
Being an artist I fell in love the banjo and wanted to try to make one, but being trained as a painter, I had never tackled anything that was sculptural, so it was a whole new experience.
What motivates you and pushes your forward in your craft?
Trying to reach unattainable goals that I set for myself.
Who and what have been the biggest influences in your work?
The great Victorian banjo makers from the turn of the 20th century.
Photos courtesy of Douglas Unger
What's your favorite project you've completed?
Probably recent decorative pocket mandolins.
To what degree do you employee traditional techniques and tools and do more modern processes or tools play a role in your work?
I use traditional tools and also traditional processes in a sense. Traditional lost skills have had to be relearned.
You can read more about Doug's work and biography at Ohio Folk & Traditional Arts.
The Early American Artisans Fair is November 1 - 2, 2019 at Harvest Ridge Event Center in Millersburg, OH. We are expecting artisans who practice in the following:
Also happening on the grounds at Harvest Ridge the same weekend is another event - Earlier Times Antiques and Folk Art Show. Located in a neighboring building, Earlier Times vendors bring with them a collection of antique and primitive furniture and related items. The grounds at Harvest Ridge will offer visitors a great opportunity to explore finely crafted objects from pre-industrial through modern times.