Thos. Harper Guitars

elcome to the website of Thomas Harper Guitars. I build classical guitars based on Torres and Hauser traditions and steel string instruments with fingerstyle playing in mind. Have a look around and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.

News - June 2014

The Northwest Instrument Show hosted by Marylhurst University near Lake Oswego, Oregon was a very good show. It's a show that is definately worth attending if you are in the area at the appropriate time. There are a lot of top notch Northwest builders and some wonderful performers playing the instruments on display. I enjoyed talking with attendees and friends as well as seeing the wonderful workmanship on display.

My current project is a classical instrument that I hope to have completed in time for the Guild of American Luthiers convention that will be held in Tacoma, Washington July 23-27. These conventions are information packed and a lot of fun. The instruments on display are open to the public on Saturday, the 26th.

I think I've used a total of 2 "store bought" rosettes since I began building. All the rest have been handmade. Generally, I follow my current whims for the design. Weather, seasons, or patterns found in nature or human made objects can inspire a design. Lately, I've been looking at Santos Hernandez's designs. He is one of my favorite builders and a current focus of my studies. So the current building project will have a rosette inspired by an instrument he built in 1921. Below is a photo of the rosette's humble beginnings. Veneer strips are glued together into columns and the columns are thinned to the desired thickness. The columns are then glued together to form a log, the ends of which display the desired pattern. I will have to make several such logs for this particular pattern. They will be glued side by side to create the final pattern. This is a traditional method of building rosettes.