The Southwestern Ontario Luthiers Guild is a non-profit association of artisans, based in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, that design, create, promote and expand the boundaries of the art and craft of lutherie. Lutherie is the act of building a stringed instrument, and an individual engaged in this activity is known as a luthier.
Meet our luthiers
The Guild holds a number of meetings throughout the year, in London, Ontario, with presentations and demonstrations by members and occasional guest speakers.
Our meetings, tutorials, newsletters, forum and more enable the productive exchange of ideas and experience and help the Guild in its mission, as well as providing a lively and rewarding social network for local luthiers. (Note, you do not need to be a member of the Guild to be a forum member).
In addition, the Guild provides the opportunity for members to showcase their work and to present their instruments to the public.
If you haven't heard of the S.O.L.G. before this visit, you might have arrived here because you are:
Not considering making instruments yourself, but are interested in lutherie and possibly contemplating purchasing a fine, hand-crafted instrument or finding someone to repair a musical instrument that is in need of some attention
An Experienced Luthier
The Guild has a lot to offer to the experienced luthier.
It's a wonderful thing to meet others that share your interest and passion. The S.O.L.G. is a terrific place to expand your network of contacts in the lutherie world. It's also a great opportunity to discover the thrill and satisfaction of passing on your knowledge and experience to others. You may find it particularly rewarding to help those members that are just starting in the exciting world of instrument-making. And here's a thing not intuitively appreciated by everyone: when you teach something to someone, you actually get better at whatever you're teaching yourself - the act of teaching focuses the mind, makes you critically consider what you're demonstrating or writing, and makes you step back and evaluate processes and techniques you might have taken for granted for many years. By sharing your experience with others you will actually improve your skills and understanding of all aspects of designing and creating musical instruments.
And as you know, the craft of lutherie is a life-long learning experience, and you may well find new ways of doing things and you may yourself benefit from the experience of others.
From time to time, the Guild is present at events hosted by other organizations and you may enjoy representing the Guild and lutherie in general to the public.
Assuming you sell your instruments, and also if you repair instruments or offer related services, the Guild is a good way to help promote your business.
The Guild also provides a friendly, social atmosphere with others that understand and can relate to your experiences.
These are just a few of the many reasons why you should consider joining the Guild.
Relatively New or Wanting to Get Started in Lutherie
If you're reasonably new to making stringed instruments, or you are thinking of starting, we believe there's no decision you could make that's better than joining the Guild. You'll have immediate access to literally decades of collective experience. You'll have a much better chance of avoiding some of the common mistakes and pitfalls that can occur when starting out. And since there's always more than one way to do something, you'll find a wide range of possible techniques, one of which is sure to work for you. When you hit a problem or stumbling block - as we all do from time to time - there's always someone who has had the same issue and is there to help.
You'll be introduced to tools, jigs, techniques and ideas and meet those that share your interest and passion.
And as your experience grows, you may find that you are contributing to our pool of knowledge, giving demonstrations, writing articles and so on.
The S.O.L.G. provides a friendly, social atmosphere where you can begin to create a network of contacts in the lutherie world while at the same time making friends that share your interest.
There are just a few of the many reasons why you should consider joining the Guild.
Interested in Lutherie, or Purchase or Repair
If you're interested in how stringed musical instruments are designed, built and maintained, you'll find a lot of information here at the S.O.L.G. You may be interested in reading some articles authored by some of our members.
If you're considering commissioning a custom-made instrument, we just happen to know a few people that make very fine hand-crafted instruments and who will work with you to make your dream come true.
And if you're already in possession of an instrument but it needs repair or maintenance you'll be able to find someone here that can help.
View instruments built by our luthiers