Charles Shifflett Luthier - home page

Charles Shifflett Acoustic Guitars

- Background & Certificates -

...Or, "Who is this Shifflett guy and how did he get here?"...

When I was younger, I thought I'd become an artist. For a couple of years I spent most of my time painting and drawing people, and landscapes. I would have probably starved, but I was young enough to move home to my folks whenever I got too thin. (Alas no longer a risk) Eventually, I conceded that I must do something else for a living. I liked natural materials, was drawn strongly to wood, and spent many years working with wood,.... sometimes for a living and sometimes as a hobby. I was always frustrated with the sacrifice of quality to achieve productivity that employers impressed on me. I was in my late 20's and I suppose I had given up on enjoying work, when I heard about a man who was teaching people how to make guitars. The course was being taught at Douglas College, in New Westminster, B. C.. It was about 700 miles from Calgary, Alberta (my home then), but I recognised an opportunity to tie together my interests in music and my love for the more challenging aspects of woodworking. Shifflett, Classic Guitar, work in progress

Master luthier Michael Dunn was then teaching a course at Douglas College. I went intending to stay for a year. I was already skilled at sharpening and using most of the hand and power tools, because of my previous woodworking experiences. During that year, I became completely obsessed, did very well, and stayed for another year.

Three years later, I moved back to the prairies to the town of High River, Alberta, (half an hour south of Calgary) to raise a small family and hang out a shingle.

The certificates? Well funny thing that. I have two "Certificates of Mastery" : in "Musical Instrument Construction", and "Musical Instrument Construction - Advanced". They (together with $5) would get me a hamburger. :-)

Although the certificates are valued mementos of those people and times on the west coast, really it's the instrument that sells itself

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last update last update Sept. 15, 2005