Ken Franklin

Having built his first guitar way back in 1972, it wasn’t till 2003 that Ken Franklin found the time to return to lutherie in earnest. Though largely self-taught, he improved his skills through repair work, and picking up tips from other builders while showing his early work at guitar maker festivals.  More recently, he’s taken a keen interest in building ukeleles—he’s built ukes for professionals Daniel Ward, Marcy Marxer and Steve Baughman–perhaps because he is an avid player himself and performs regularly with the Ukiah Uke Tones.

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Ken Franklin, Luthier – Cerise

David Dart

David Dart learned to play guitar in at age ten, repaired a Lyon & Healy parlor guitar at fourteen, and built an Appalachian dulcimer at sixteen. He completed his first guitar in 1967 & has since built over 50 different types of instruments including lutes, hurdy-gurdys, medieval fiddles, harp guitars and more. In 1982, David moved his shop north from Southern California to Navarro where he continues to reside and build instruments. His clients include noted musicians David Lindley, Jim Messina, and Ben Harper as well as “just folks” who want something special. 

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David Dart, Luthier – Lap Slide Guitar

Gregory Byers

Gregory Byers made a major career change after encountering a luthier while doing marine biology graduate work in Puerto Rico in 1981. With over 350 instruments to his credit, Greg Byers has been building classical guitars in his shop in Willits since 1987. His guitars are sought after by top players from around the world including renowned classical guitarists Scott Tenant and John Dearman of the Grammy winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and the great guitar virtuoso David Russell.

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Rick Micheletti

Rick opened his northern California repair shop in 1981 and by the following year, after attending an eight week course in lutherie  at the Vermont Instrument Workshop, he began building his own guitars. Rick has combined his background in engineering and a passion for woodworking to create guitars that inspire musicians to new levels of creativity. His newest line of guitars feature rounded edges both front and back that allow for a friendlier interface between instrument and musician while still offering a clear, well articulated sound and plenty of volume.

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Rick Micheletti, Luthier – Koa Acoustic

Steve Porter

Steve began woodworking at age seventeen in his parent’s garage in Orange, CA and went on to hone his craft with traditional English cabinetmaker John Ellison, and later with Jim Krenov at the Fine Woodworking program at College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg. He built his first guitar while attending the American School of Lutherie in 1996 and continued his tutelage under master luthiers Jeff Elliott and Cindy Burton. Steve builds a Parisian style guitar in two different models: one is fan-braced with open transverse bars, the other his Quantum model that features a cantilevered fret board, balsa and carbon fiber lattice bracing, and a suspended soundboard.

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Morgan Daniel

Morgan Daniel builds, repairs, and plays stringed instruments on the Mendocino Coast. While he primarily builds smaller steel-string acoustics, he has taken a keen interest in building electrics since he began installing “b-benders”—a unique string bending device created by local musical legend Gene Parsons. He particularly enjoys working with California black acacia and “sinker” redwood—a highly prized wood reclaimed from sunken logs found in the tidal rivers along the North Coast. He lives with his family in Mendocino where he also works as a paramedic.

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