Jeff Warner PHOTOGRAPHIC, Golden, Colorado, USA

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

James Einolf, Luthier

I spent the day documenting the craftsmanship of Colorado luthier James Einolf in his basement workshop. An astounding amount of very fine, detailed woodworking is required to handcraft a guitar. After hundreds of hours of labor, it's astonishing that all the pieces eventually come together into a musical instrument.

Here's the 'subject' and the ambient light I had to work with. Let's just say there's lots of stuff around, and it's bathed in beautiful greenish light!

Woodworking tools of the trade (some of which are themselves works of art), being used to scallop the internal bracing.

Preparing to glue the kerfing to the internal side of the flat top.

5x glasses used to prepare and install the frets onto the fingerboard.
Ebony, Indian Rosewood and Cocobolo fingerboards await mating to neck.

Abundant filing is involved with shaping the neck.

James with a 1926 Gibson L-0 on the left, and Einolf L-0 Serial #51 on the right.

The workshop foreman, Felix, apparently thinks he's also capable of picking a guitar!


  1. Nice, thanks Jeff. I really like that 2nd shot. The fingerboard shot would be great also if it were a bit lighter.

  2. Hey thanks Charles, it means a lot coming from such an accomplished guitar photographer. You're right about the fingerboards, I edited it as suggested. Thanks!

  3. Your photography does justice to his luthiery: they're both beautifully done. I'm not actually anonymous, I'm just not into registering at websites.

    B. Thomas


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