elcome to the website of Thomas Harper Guitars. I build classical guitars based on Torres and Hauser traditions and steel string instruments with fingerstyle playing in mind. Have a look around and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.
The Northwest Instrument Show hosted by Marylhurst University near Lake Oswego, Oregon was a very good show. It's a show that is definately worth attending if you are in the area at the appropriate time. There are a lot of top notch Northwest builders and some wonderful performers playing the instruments on display. I enjoyed talking with attendees and friends as well as seeing the wonderful workmanship on display.
My current project is a classical instrument that I hope to have completed in time for the Guild of American Luthiers convention that will be held in Tacoma, Washington July 23-27. These conventions are information packed and a lot of fun. The instruments on display are open to the public on Saturday, the 26th.
I think I've used a total of 2 "store bought" rosettes since I began building. All the rest have been handmade. Generally, I follow my current whims for the design. Weather, seasons, or patterns found in nature or human made objects can inspire a design. Lately, I've been looking at Santos Hernandez's designs. He is one of my favorite builders and a current focus of my studies. So the current building project will have a rosette inspired by an instrument he built in 1921. Below is a photo of the rosette's humble beginnings. Veneer strips are glued together into columns and the columns are thinned to the desired thickness. The columns are then glued together to form a log, the ends of which display the desired pattern. I will have to make several such logs for this particular pattern. They will be glued side by side to create the final pattern. This is a traditional method of building rosettes.