This wood-based apprenticeship will focus on apprentice Daniel Klingberg’s passion for guitar building with hand tools in the style of models built by CF Martin in the 1930’s alongside mentor artist Matthew Arcara. Together they will dive deeper into the process of constructing and setting up guitars, so ultimately Daniel will be able to learn, start to finish, the process of building an acoustic guitar from selecting the wood, to shaping and carving, to assembly and final setup. Additionally, they will work on honing Daniel’s basic woodworking skills, as well as instrument repairs. The pair will accomplish this through 100 hours of one-on-one training at Matthew’s South Portland studio.
Matthew Arcara (South Portland, ME)
As a third-generation engineer, Matthew Arcara has the artistry, passion and obsessive attention to detail needed for instrument building in his blood. He built his first guitars as a middle school student developing a knack for woodworking; and he’s continued to develop his craft ever since, doing stints in high-end residential construction, custom cabinetry, furniture and commercial fixtures while gleaning priceless insight about the process of guitar making from master luthiers such as Julius Borges, John Slobod of Circa Guitars, Scott Conley and Jon Cooper (Volinmaker). Matthew’s unique stature in the world of lutherie comes from the countless hours he’s logged as a professional and competitive guitarist. His dedication and persistence paid off in 2006 when he won the prestigious National Flatpicking Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. He is the founder of the progressive stringband, Joy Kills Sorrow, with whom he has recorded four albums and toured internationally. Matthew has performed at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rockygrass Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, A Prairie Home Companion and been featured on NPR and Folk Alley’s best of 2013 list. As well as having videos featured on Rolling Stone, MTV, VH1 and CMT. This real-world time spent among hundreds of fellow players has informed Matthew’s build philosophy as much as anything else has: he knows what to put into a guitar to insure his client gets the most out of it, and tailors his instruments to their playing styles on a personal basis.
“We have been friends and musical collaborators for a few years now, and this grant would give us an opportunity to explore the apprentice relationship in more depth, with the supplies and time to make an entire guitar start to finish and allow me to spend more time focusing on teaching all of the carving and finishing skills Dan wants to work on.” – Matthew Arcara
Daniel Klingsberg (Portland, ME)
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“Matt is a good friend of mine and he makes beautiful guitars with particular respect to the tradition of pre-war Martin-style acoustics. He has a great attention to detail and loves to work with specific musicians to make sure they get the instrument that will serve them best. I have a great respect for the work he does and the instruments he produces, and I want to contribute to extending this legacy.” – Daniel Klingsberg