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Pistol River, Oregon, USA
This is a magical craft.. it entices for years and finally, succeeds in converting all who attemp it. We cannot all do everything we want to do all of the time...but with planning and perserverence, we can achieve our dreams. Les Stansell had a dream for 20 years, a dream to build musical instrument by hand,..slowly he cultivated his skills...and as you might surmise from the interview below...Les Stansell is now living his dream.
Where and when did you learn guitar building?
Why do you want to build only Spanish/Classic guitars?
Initially, because that is what I was taught at NWSID. Although my appreciation for the beauty and genius of this design grew out of that experience I also believe it is a much more versatile guitar, as far as application to differing styles of music, than people in general realize...but that is changing.
Where have you been for the last 20 years and why havent we heard about you until now?
I have been living in Pistol River because 20 years ago we (Mary and I) had a choice. Raise our family (Laura and Jennifer) in the city or move back to the South Oregon Coast where I grew up. For us it was a "no brainer".Although I built guitars and dulcimers for a few years when we moved back to Pistol River, it was not enough to provide the income necessary to build a house and shop and do my part in supporting our family.Essentially I put guitars on hold and began working as a carpenter. This eventually led to me getting my contractors license, over the years I have been building custom homes and designing and building custom cabinets and furniture.
Les is an avid windsurfer too...when he is not in the surf, he lives in the 'Garden of Eden'...where he grew up as a boy
I see you like to use alternative woods. Tell us about that.
Alternative hardwoods, premium air-dried spruce, and meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail put Stansell instruments in a special class.
Why should I pay more for a hand-built instrument?
It all depends on what a person wants from their guitar and how much they are willing to spend. If you are looking for a guitar that is customized to your physical size and style of playing, if you want to be able to choose the woods that are used in your guitar, if you want a one-on-one relationship with the builder, if you want an instrument that looks and sounds great and continues to sound better with age, if you want an instrument that appreciates in value then maybe a customized hand-built guitar is for you.
|Hand crafting an instrument allows the builder to excercise tremendous control over all elements of design... factory instruments are limited to 'cookie-cutter' motifs, If it is a true 'custom' instrument you seek, find the right hand craftsman to create it just for you|
Stansell Interview continues... I Directory of our featured builders.
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