Lutherie Letourneau Luthier Interview 1 Background
Vous pouvez également découvrir cette interview en français https://luthiers.com/laurent-letourneau-luthier-interview-1-background/
My path is made of a self-taught apprenticeship, neither lutherie school, nor training with colleagues. I spent about twenty years adjusting, repairing and making instruments before starting my own business.
During this time I was working as a librarian.
I have always been interested in the guitar, perhaps more in the object than in the practice.
I am more of a bass player than a guitarist, even if I play less and less since I opened the workshop.
I continue to learn, especially by exchanging as much as possible with my colleagues.
From time to time, I have ouds, banjos, resonator guitars, ukuleles in my workshop…
I don’t take care of the quartet, there is a luthier who does that very well not far from my place.
I make a range of guitars and basses based on my own designs, but also completely custom models.
The guitar range is composed of the Venise, Orwell, Moebius and Volfoni models, and the bass range of the Malon, Maben and Montparnasse models.
These are instruments that I make to put in stores, to sell on websites such as luthiers.com, to exhibit at fairs or to sell directly at the workshop.
They are entirely customizable, wood, tuning fork, hardware, pickups…
They are reinterpretations of classic models or designs that have marked me.
But my tastes and my influences evolve, and I try to make my line evolve, to modernize it and to simplify it permanently.
I also try to accentuate the use of local woods, or at least species that are not endangered, in my fabrications.
I avoid buying tropical species in critical condition, trying to make do with the stocks I have built up, and to argue, to praise, to guitarists, the qualities of “other woods”. It’s quite a complicated job!
Besides that, I make custom guitars and basses.
It can start from a drawing, an idea, a simple discussion, it’s open.
Of course, it has to be technically possible and I have to be able to make it!
I am currently working on a new bass and an archtop is about to be released.
I collaborate in the same way with amateurs and professionals.
Each one has its expectations and its imperatives. I try to meet them as best as possible.
I work with pencil and eraser.
I would love to master vector drawing software, but I’m far from it!
I pay attention to the aesthetic and sound expectations of my clients, and then I propose solutions, trying to keep away from any dogmatic vision.
I am learning (and still learning) from new collaborations, from discussions with my peers…
My networks range from suppliers like Madinter, Espen, to some of my fellow workers, with whom we try to mutualize our purchases.
Most of the time, I work with well-known suppliers of hardware, such as Schaller or Gotoh.
But I try to keep a constant eye on new products.
I have some of the parts I design made, like the tailpieces I install on my Venise and Orwell guitars.
I work as much as possible with local craftsmen, whom I can meet and with whom I can discuss my problems.
Since this year, my instruments are equipped with Growl Pickup, made in France by Sébastien Gavet and Godefroy Maruejouls.
This also allows me to make specific pickups for certain orders, in terms of sound and design.
I also have a bass, for sale on this site, a Maben, built with Road Runners pickups.
I prefer local handcrafted products!
Lots of oil!
I like the mat, satin side, the material touch.
But I also do nitro, especially when I make colors.
I recommend the ones I have already experienced.
If they choose a system that I don’t know, it will be an opportunity to discover.
And I exchange with my fellows.
We choose the fingerboard according to the sound but also to the visual aspect and the feeling.
I am not interested in building amps or effects.
I don’t have the skills to do that.
I leave it to others, who do it very well, like Gilles Ferrand from IT-11 Audio.
The Itemm, in Le Mans, provides training in lutherie. There is a school in Canada, in London.
It seems to me that some luthiers provide training.
Some machine tools, essential for woodworking, a jointer, a planer, a router, a grader.
Secondly, you can make a lot of tools yourself.
There are specialized suppliers, often very expensive.
A nice workshop, a varnish booth,… there is always a need for something extra!
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