Maxwell Sipe, USA
Maxwell Sipe writes:

My journey into lutherie is a natural one.

As a kid I was always drawing and making model planes and cars. Simultaneously, I was involved in music.  I had piano lessons starting in the 1st grade and I played music all the way thru college.

I graduated with a BA in music from the University of Portland and studied classical guitar with Jeffrey Ashton and Scott Kritzer as well as attending numerous master classes.  While teaching music and performing after graduation,  I was always preoccupied with other projects: building furniture, painting cars, fiberglassing, etc... which led to me to try my hand at lutherie.  

It was a good feeling to be able to connect two of my passions - music and a hands-on construction project.  I made my first guitar in 2005 and I've been hooked ever since.  I am mostly self taught, but I am also lucky to live in a place where I am surrounded by gifted luthiers with whom I can learn and share.  

Doing repair work is a wonderful way to study the craft.  

I worked for about 6 years in Kerry Char’s workshop repairing instruments and helping him with his custom builds.   It was a great learning experience and helped me raise the bar to what I wanted to do with my own building.  Being able to study instruments from the Baroque to the present is invaluable in shaping ones perspective.   Also, the work itself; things like completing hundreds of re-frets and neck resets build an invaluable skill set. 
Maxwell Sipe