Wood. Is it ever really dead? Have you experienced that feeling when you take a pile of wood, work it, shape it and breathe new life into it until it becomes a thing of beauty? How much more magical to create something that not only looks beautiful but sings to you with the most beautiful voice you can imagine.
Welcome to the world of guitar making. As the owner of the WA Branch of the Australian Guitar Making School, Steve Barton understands the joy of hearing a sound in your head and bringing it to life through working and shaping great tonewoods.
Since making his first guitar in 2012 he has been addicted to the quest to build the perfect instrument. After 40 years in the corporate world, a major health scare last year saw him refocus and reprioritise his life. Saying goodbye to a lifetime working in Human Resources he took up guitar building as a full-time role. When the opportunity came up to open a branch of the Australian Guitar Making School in Perth, Steve jumped at it as a chance to combine his passion for guitars with many years’ experience as a trainer and teacher.
He’s spent about a year getting the school up and running and reflecting on that journey Steve said, “When I first thought about opening the school, I thought the people who would enrol would all be “guitar nuts”. But meeting students at other schools showed their reasons for enrolling are as varied as the instruments they build. Some come because they love working with wood and see guitar building as the ultimate challenge. They may or may not know how to play guitar and many give the instruments to family members when complete. Some come because the school provides a social environment to meet once a week and share ideas with others with similar interests. Of course, many do come because they are passionate about guitars and want a quality instrument they know isn’t likely to come off a factory floor.”
The support from Perth people has been fantastic from the day the school was announced. Previously, people had to take leave from work, find a course in the Eastern States or overseas and book a place. Additional costs of airfares and accommodation made guitar making a very expensive proposition. Having the school here keeps costs to a minimum and students can fit classes around their work and family commitments. Students can now fulfil a dream they have had for years.
If you would like to experience the magic and satisfaction of building your own top-quality instrument, check out the Australian Guitar Making School Stand at the Wood Show. See Steve and you can enrol for an immediate start in day, night or weekend classes.
If you don’t get a chance to catch up with him you can call him on 0423 094 272 or
visit the school at unit 1/24 Poletti Rd Cockburn Central.