Special thanks to
(alphabetical by company name)
Nicole Alosinac studied woodworking design and construction for two years at Conestoga College of Applied Arts and Sciences in Kitchener, ON Canada. It was after completing this course and working as a cabinet maker that she discovered her passion for the guitar.
Alosinac began working for Jean Larrivee Guitars Ltd in 1999 in Vancouver, BC. During her four years there, she worked in several areas of the factory; bracing and building bodies of guitars, being a member of the quality control team, and becoming the factory and warranty repair person.
Nicole then expanded her knowledge of instrument repair by working at a very busy Vancouver guitar shop. Repairing not just acoustic and classical guitars, but electric guitars, banjos, sitars, ukuleles, ouds, erhus, basically anything that came through the doors.
During this same time Nicole was building up her own shop and continuing her studies with Master luthier Geza Burghardt, a relationship that started during her days at Larrivee. Studying classical guitar construction, guitar repair techniques, french polishing, tool construction and violin restoration.
Nicole Alosinac Luthiery was established in 2003. From the time of opening her doors she has worked on hundreds of minor to major projects, always with the satisfaction of the customer in mind. Nicole continues to study, expand her knowledge and strive for excellence in the art of luthiery.
G Buddy Leather
Hi, I’m Gord.
My journey began as a hobby-slash-therapy in 2010. I was hanging out with a friend at his music store in Nova Scotia where he did lots of creative stuff - from whittling wooden spoons and small wood carvings - to making guitar straps. My first creation, with the aid of my friend, was a dog leash. Then I made a small, hand sewn leather bag and attached it to the leash. Then I carved my dog’s face in it. That was the beginning …
Soon after that, I went to work in the oil patch – two weeks on, two weeks off. I would make some belts and wallets at home and bring them back to work. Soon I was getting orders every week. One day, I had an idea to carve a fretboard into a belt for a friend’s birthday. Though it was a lot of work, the finished product looked great and my friend loved it.
In 2015, I gave up my full time job, put on my leather hat, loaded up the family, and moved to Vancouver Island (kind of like Jedd Clampett). I went to my first market, set up a booth selling leather products and began to gather a following, getting custom orders most every week. At that point I realized – hey, I think I’ve got something here. I love what I’m doing, I’m good at it and people like the product.
My style is what you might call a “vintage model”. I make everything by hand the slow, careful way, using water based dyes and largely veg tan leather. This leather is processed in an eco-friendly manner, from start to finish, and actually takes months to complete, with no harmful chemicals involved. By taking this extra time, it provides a long-lasting, superior end product.
I use very little social media, preferring to meet and talk to my customers first hand. We start talking and, more often than not, we veer off to something they hadn’t come in for but they’ve always wanted and, before you know it, we’ve designed that extra special custom item. Drop in, take a look and check out what’s on hand and, if I don’t have what you’re looking for, there’s a good chance I might be able to make it for you!
The Guitar Stand Guy
While the path to my current love affair in woodworking has taken several unnecessary detours (science, oceanography, software etc.) I now feel that I’m finally “home”. My workshop is my place of gratitude, sanity, recreation and enjoyment. The first guitar stand I made many moons ago was ugly enough to prod me into trying again (and again, and again …) until a satisfactory design emerged, followed by another one – a process that is still ongoing. Right now I am totally excited about another new design that will hold three guitars on a rotating platform, that I can’t wait to show off In Victoria next year. The money I charge for my creations doesn’t come close to paying for tools and woods but I don’t care. Yahoo! Hope to see you in Victoria in April.
Welcome to the world of Gunn-Smith Guitars, where each string and fret resonates with my personal touch and dedication. As Justin Gunn-Smith, the sole artisan behind these exceptional instruments, my journey with guitars began in my teenage years, inspired by my father's musical flair and carpentry skills. This fusion of music and woodworking is the heartbeat of my creations.
My guitars are a homage to icons like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, crafted with carefully selected woods for their distinctive tonal qualities. From the crisp alder and maple of my inaugural Telecaster-style guitar to the rich blend of cedar, rosewood, mahogany, and purple heart in my Gibson L-00 parlor acoustic replica, each guitar has its unique narrative.
The essence of my guitars is captured in the custom-wound pickups, reminiscent of DiMarzio's chopper twin blades, balancing single-coil clarity with humbucker richness. I've chosen Gotoh machine heads for their reliability, and I'm driven to design my own hardware in the future.
A signature element of my guitars is the Bigsby tremolo system, mirroring my affection for blues music's expressive vibrato. At Gunn-Smith Guitars, every instrument is more than just a tool; it's a blend of precision engineering and artisanal woodworking, a tribute to my father's legacy, and a manifestation of my lifelong passion for music.
Embark on this melodious journey with me, where each guitar is not just an instrument but a storyteller. Discover your story with a Gunn-Smith Guitar.
Wayne Irvin Johnson
Wayne Irvin Johnson has been building guitars full time since 2016. Having first learned to play guitar when he was only 6 years old it was pretty clear to those around him that he has a wonderful ear for music. Years later he met James Olson and was smitten with a deep passion to build guitars. In the fall of 2014 Wayne studied under Sergei de Jonge. From there he went on to design and produce his own line of custom steel string guitars. His keen ear has served him well to voice guitars that are amazingly balanced, gorgeous sound and sustain that seems to hang in the air forever. They are fabulous to look at too!
My path to building guitars is far from what most would consider normal. I didn’t plan to become a builder, but like many things in my life, it presented itself as anopportunity and I’m seeing where it takes me. Most of my professional life I’ve worked within the sport of rowing, coaching and developing athletes. This is a career I continues today, living in Victoria BC and working for Rowing Canada Aviron. As RCA’s NextGen Program Lead I support athletes who have the goal of competing at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. As for music, I grew up playing the bagpipes. In my twenties I attempted playing guitar and drums in bands with friends. As the years passed this all took a back seat to life, family, and career.
I started building guitars later in life. When my son turned fifteen, we decided to build a bass together. This got me hooked, I couldn’t stop thinking about how to improve the next build. After a couple years of experimenting, learning, and creating expensive firewood I decided to turn my weekend hobby into a weekend business. In the spring of 2018 McDiarmid Guitars was born. Since this date I have focused on getting my guitars into the hands of musicians, gathering feedback on the feel and sound. Their feedback, good and bad, challenges me to develop and improve my skills.
I can be found most weekends, in my shop, surrounded by sawdust.