Interview and photo by Christian Barker
Uncle Louie’s, 1125 Park St., 933-9833
This place looks pretty chill. I like how it’s sort of tucked away here in the Vista.
Yeah, this is my first time here, actually.
Mine, too. So, Greg, what are you into?
Well, I am local luthier. I build custom musical instruments. Right now I build classical and jazz guitars and I offer an acoustic and electric guitar base model, which people can request custom features for me to add on.
That sounds really cool. How did you get started doing work like that?
The story is actually kind of a downer. Are you sure you want to hear it?
I’d like to, if you are comfortable with sharing.
When I was 21, my father passed away and I was left with his woodworking shop. He would make custom furniture for people. I loved music and I had all of his resources, so I started to build my first banjo. After that I started to train under a Finnish luthier by the name of Aury Lutega in Charlotte.
How long did you train under him until you were able to master the craft?
I’ve been working with him for about three years now. He has been doing this stuff for over 20 years, though.
That really is amazing. I really love working with my hands, too. My dream is to be a product designer. What advice would you have for someone trying to get into this kind of industry?
Honestly, its a lot of work but I would say you should try to find a mentor and ask for an apprenticeship. You have to have a lot of money saved up too because these things can get pretty expensive.