I am a luthier who took up the craft as a full-time activity in 2012 after completing a 3-month full-time course at the Totnes School of Guitarmaking in the UK.
I build fretted stringed instruments to individual customers' requirements, rather than having a fixed range of products. I give you free rein to choose your decorative elements over all the instrument, even, for example, headstock embellishment: I believe it is more important that a bespoke, hand-built instrument has an emotional connection with, and means something to its owner than it is to put my own stamp in an obvious place on my work. My label and any additional maker's marks will be present, but in an unobtrusive place.
I use mainly hand tools in my work. Not only do I enjoy using them, but I believe the feeling I get for a piece of wood through the tool is intuitively valuable and complements my measurements and more analytical assessments.
My guitars in particular tend to have a lively, 'forward' kind of sound, loud for their size and with an articulate, full bass, but I can certainly build for warmth and mellowness for those who prefer it.
You can see an interview (in French) with Pierre Journel of 'La chaîne guitare' here:
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