A luthier makes and repairs stringed instruments including violins and guitars. The word is born out of the word lute, which is a stringed instrument with ancient roots. In the 1500s, the lute gained popularity in Europe, and many cities became centers of fine instrument making, particularly in Italy.
Part Two in a series of interviews with people who have found hands-on, creative work through doing an apprenticeship.
Shoemaking, or cordwaining (the official term), is a craft that has been largely erased from mainstream shoe production over the past 30 years. Only 2% of the US shoe market is produced domestically, and as of 2011, there are only 1,460 shoe repairers and shoemakers practicing in Canada.
The idea of making a bunch of things that you can sell easily, that are cheaper to make… something about that is relaxing to me.
I think it’s good to be working in craft after going to art school, because it’s still creative and it’s still working with your hands. It doesn’t require you to be vulnerable like art, which I also found really exhausting. Not that you have to be, but that’s how I tend to do it, so it was great to do a lot of crafting and stuff that is more visual.