I started my professional life after college as a bookbinder at The Book Press in Brattleboro, Vermont. I became a Journeyman after four years and then proceeded to expand my vocation through several positions at various printing companies in Florida, Georgia, Connecticut, Maryland, and Ohio while eventually working my way up to Director of Operations at Earth Digital Printing and Mailing in New York City in 2015. I had been living in Cincinnati, Ohio since 2000 and had been working/commuting long-distance (Wisconsin, Nebraska, Virginia, and NYC) from 2007–2015. Internet technology was causing a disruption in the printing industry by this point in time (2015). I decided to retire early and start building electric guitars professionally.
My passion for lutherie began at The Book Press while I was involved in the binding of Irving Sloane’s eleventh printing of Classic Guitar Construction. An opportunity developed in 1999 for me to apprentice for three months with Miles Jones at his shop (Fretworks) in Calgary, Alberta. Fretworks was both a repair shop and a lutherie school. My instrument repair experience (structural and electrical) with Miles provided me with a unique perspective on building guitars.
I started Leavitt Stringed Instruments when I returned to Cincinnati from New York City in 2015. I had been building electric guitars since 1999. My guitars are built by hand using traditional and conventional woodworking tools and techniques. I build between ten and twelve electric guitars annually. I have been a guitarist since childhood. This intimate knowledge of what a guitar should feel like and sound like has been instilled in my guitar building methodology.
I converted to Buddhism (Mahayana) during my college years. Working with my hands and mind has been a lifelong expression of my dharma. My lutherie is about essential simplicity and its application in creating the complexity of sound and music through a wooden musical instrument.
Located: Cincinnati, Ohio United States
Professionally Selling: Since Spring 2015
Professional Organizations: The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans , Guild of American Luthiers
Dealers: Third Rock Music Center / Cincinnati, Ohio
Studied With: Miles Jones / Fretworks (Calgary, Alberta)
Shows: Madeira Art Show / Cincinnati, Ohio , Artisan Guitar Show / Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Instrument Types: Electric Guitar