Lutherie in the USVI
I am relocating to STT within the next couple of months. One of my passions is building guitars, specifically Martin-style acoustics. Here in Michigan, I build them in my home workshop within a 45-55% controlled humidity level, although our year round ambient humidity ranges from as low as 40% to 90%, just depending on the seasons.
With the humidity level being high throughout the year in the USVI, lack of basements (which is where my current workshop is) and high cost of electricity to cool and dehumidify there, am very interested in talking to luthiers who are building there in the USVI, if any, about the challenges they face, particularly their experience with building in that environment and then shipping the finished guitar to their clients elsewhere. During my recent PMV and through my Assoc of Stringed Instrument Artisans (ASIA) network of guitar builders nationwide here in the States, have yet to learn of ANYONE building in the USVI, so was hoping someone in your area may know firsthand of anybody, even if just a casual hobbiest? Please feel free to PM or post their contact info, if appropriate, if you know of anyone, would truly appreciate the lead.
I don't know of anyone on St Thomas. When you come for your PMV (you are coming for a PMV, aren't you?) you should network with the local musicians. I think you already have a good idea about what is needed. Your visit will help you discover whether this place is a possibility for your business. Good luck!
Check out Steven Kats on St. Croix. Great local guitarist who also builds guitars.
Only one that I know that does anything even close to building is Morgan Rael and I dont know if he is still on STT or now, havent seen him in years
Thanks for all the input, appreciate it.
We had a guy on STX. But he left island last year. He's the guy who taught Steve Katz how to build. Pretty sure Steve used his shop to build his guitar.
Lots of musicians and open mic nights and music happening regularly on STT. I'm sure you'll find someone who can supply information you're looking for.