Clayton Pledger, Luthier
In a world of mass production, I feel that something as precious and beautiful as a musical instrument should be built by hand with finesse, care, and intention.
My love for stringed instruments and music began at a young age. I started to learn the violin when I was 6 years old, and got my first guitar at the age of 10. My building interests soon followed - as a skateboarder in the 80s, if you wanted to skate a ramp you had to build one yourself.
As I grew older, my interests in building, woodwork, and music continued. I moved from ramps to restoring old houses, and then to building custom acoustic guitars.
Building instruments came from my love of music, enjoyment in working with wood, and the desire to create something beautiful and useful in the world. In my little shop I build around six, one-of-a-kind guitars a year. I look at building each guitar as a slow meditation, one that involves a lot of sweet talking, listening and responding to my materials, and many hours to complete. During the process, the guitar and I develop a strong bond that will last for my lifetime; I will always be there for it.
So much gratitude goes out to John Greven, Cyndy Burton, Jeff Elliott, David Freeman, Mike Doolin, Devin Champlin, and Kerry Char for all of their teachings and mentorship over the years. I'm also grateful for my community of Portland luthiers, where inspiration and information travels freely from builder to builder.
When not working, I'm spending time with family, working with bees, and seeking out some of the best swimming holes the world has to offer in the Pacific Northwest.