Jeffrey R Elliott: Luthier

Forensic Lutherie: Behind the Scenes of Historical Guitar Restoration

WEBSITE:  ELLIOTT GUITARS

The presentation will highlight the restorations of two of history’s important classical guitars, an 1869 Francisco Gonzalez and, more significantly, an 1888 Antonio de Torres. The moral and ethical concerns that led to the decisions determining the specific restorative treatment will be addressed, and photographic examples will be shown of some of the treatments that resulted from this deliberation. The presentation will also integrate some of the investigative methods used to understand the history of these guitars in a forensic sense, which was equally important in determining the proposed treatments. A question and answer period will follow.

Jeffrey R. Elliott fell in love with the sound of the classical guitar at age sixteen, and has been building them for the last fifty years. He has shared life and work with fellow luthier Cyndy Burton here in their Portland home since 1980, where they also teach guitar making and French polishing. Jeffrey has taught guitar making at the American School of Lutherie, and has been an active member of the Guild of American Luthiers (GAL) as an author for American Lutherie magazine and as a convention lecturer and exhibitor. His guitars have been displayed at the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick Gallery, and clientele include Julian Bream, Ralph Towner (with Burton), Earl Klugh, and Leo Kottke. 

Over the past two decades Jeffrey has selectively undertaken the restoration of guitars made by such historically important makers as Antonio de Torres, Francisco Gonzalez, Manual Ramirez, Santos Hernandez, and Hermann Hauser l and ll. He has lectured about these at GAL Conventions, written articles about them for American Lutherie magazine, and has made  full-scale plans available through the GAL.