Ok, so it’s best to answer the obvious question first. Yes, you can buy a guitar off the shelf at this Kilmore guitar business. No, that’s not the main purpose of the business though.
People come here to learn the art of making guitars. Some are guitarists, some are not. Some have previous wood-working experience, some do not. The experience of learning to make an acoustic guitar over weeks or even months, depending on the pace you want to go at, will leave you with both a beautiful instrument made of natural timbers to your own design and specification, but also with an immense sense of pride in your ability to tackle a daunting task and finish it. Even this, though, is not the whole story. More on that later.
Rod McCracken purchased the renowned and long established Montsalvat-based Thomas Lloyd Guitars recently, having been a student at the original site starting in 2014. Rod’s own story, coming into life as a luthier after a long career as a teacher, hints at what lies at the heart of this business. Caring for his wife Mandy, who lost her hands and feet to sepsis in 2013, Rod found himself with a need to rebuild his own resilience once she was well on the way to rehabilitation.
Building resilience. That’s what this guitar-building is really about. It’s about doing something you didn’t think you could do, with the support of others and the guidance of a skilled teacher, and coming to an understanding of yourself as a person.