Friday, June 03, 2011

Luthier John Osthoff : Osthoff Guitars

About John Osthoff and Osthoff Guitars from

John has been involved in the "music industry" for close to 30 years. Starting in high-school bands and continuing in a variety of "working" bands, John has shared the stage with some very talented musicians.

In addition ti this, he has provided stage and sound support for some well known touring acts including, The Coasters, The Drifters, The Platters, The Marshall Tucker Band, Jon Pousette-Dart, Jonathan Edwards, John Hall, Jess Klein, Bill Morrissey, and Bill Staines. John started to dream about making guitars as a teenager but wouldn't have the resources to start lutherie until much later in life. John has been a member of the G.A.L. and the A.S.I.A since 2001.

John says, I actually had the parts on order for a bass guitar in 1980, but the store I placed the order with went out of business. My road to guitar making isn't a complicated one, but it did take many turns before I actually installed my first fret into a fingerboard. As a young man, John spent about 5 years working as a toolmaker. He says, That part of my life gave me experience in tools, jigs and fixtures, that transferred to lutherie quite well. After toolmaking, John spent a good number of years as an electronics technician and a brief stint as a software engineer prior to becoming a school teacher. He says, Teaching is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, but the schedule allows me to become more involved in lutherie. During school breaks, I am able to visit and study with some really great people.

While John has had the opportunity to rub elbows with many many Luthiers, John still conciders Steve Sauvé to be his mentor. Steve is the proprietor of Steve Sauvé Guitars formally Stringfellow Guitars located in North Adams MA. Lots of great stuff has come out of the shop including the two guitars created for the book Guitarmaking Tradition and Technology by William Cumpiano and John Natleston. John says, "Steve has provided me with endless advice and inspiration. I am sure Steve deserves a lot more credit for what went into that book. Still the book has been indispensable in my shop."

Acknowledging other influences on his work, Jhon says, "Although not a Luthier, I have probably learned as much about guitarmaking from, Kevin Ansberry, my (John's) Graphic Artist, as I have from anyone else. Kevin is not only a great friend, but a super designer and artist. He designed the Osthoff logo, and worked extensively with me on the design of the JS model and the bridges on all of our guitars. We continue to work together to come up with new designs and refine old ideas. Further, Years ago I got much of my inspiration and motivation form the folks on the forum of the13thFret I have made many of my friends there. Lately that site has become quiet and many people have moved on. Still it remains close to my heart. John continues to be a Sponsor on the forum even though he has not been a very active participant."

John says, "I am very lucky to have the love and support of my daughters behind all aspects of my life, especially my luthiery career. They know it is not as lucrative as some of the other things I could be doing, yet they are so supportive, understanding and really quite helpful." Although not really involved in the day to day operations his daughters help John in the shop occasionally.

In addition to the World Guitar Congress in '04, John has participated the Newport Guitar show ('04 & '06), the Healdsburg Guitar Festival ('05, '07 & '09), The Woodstock Ivitational Guitar Show ('09 & '10) and also the Montreal Guitar Show in '07, '08, '09 & '10.

John offers following models...
OM/00-12/000-12 | Auditoriam | Slope Dread | Jumbo | Custom

Additional Links from Osthoff Guitars

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