Local Instrument Makers Go Pro

By Eric Olson

June 18, 2010 Updated Sep 5, 2008 at 12:38 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--THE GUITAR IS THE FOCUS OF THE NEW EXHIBIT AT FORT WAYNE’S ARTLINK GALLERY BUT WHILE THE PAINTINGS AND PHOTOS OF GUITARS ARE ENTERTAINING…THE STARS OF THIS SHOW ARE THE REAL THINGS…FINE INSTRUMENTS MADE LOCALLY BY THE CEDAR CREEK LUTHIERS.

Mike: A lot of times I’ll make mistakes and often the mistakes turn out better than what I had in mind.

WE DOUBT MIKE DAWSON MAKES MANY MISTAKES IN HIS GRABILL SHOP. TODAY HE ‘S COAXING THE GRACEFUL CURVES OF A NEW BANJO NECK FROM A PIECE OF RAW HARDWOOD MAPLE. MIKE’S A HOUSEPAINTER BY TRADE BUT MAKING INSTRUMENTS IS HIS REAL PASSION. HE BUILDS FINE GUITARS TOO, BUT BANJO’S ARE MIKE’S SPECIALTY.

Charlie: Woodworking doesn’t really capture my imagination but I love instrument building.

MEANWHILE A MILE DOWN THE ROAD FROM MIKE DAWSON’S HOUSE, THE OTHER HALF OF CEDAR CREEK LUTHIERS, CHARLIE DICK, IS SCULPTING THE BRACES OF A GUITAR FACE.

Charlie: I guess I love music and the idea of making something that can produce music is very appealing to me.

CHARLIE’S BEEN MAKING INSTRUMENTS FOR ABOUT THIRTY YEARS. HIS GUITARS ARE GORGEOUS…AND EXTREMELY LIGHTWEIGHT. BUT HIS SPECIALTY IS THE MANDOLIN, THIS IS HIS LATEST. LIKE MOST ARTISTS MIKE DAWSON AND CHARLIE DICK PREFER MAKING BEAUTIFUL THINGS…MARKETING AND SELLING THEM, NOT SO MUCH. SO THEY’VE JOINED FORCES, CREATED CEDAR CREEK LUTHIERS TO HELP GET THE WORD OUT THAT THEY’RE IN BUSINESS WITH FINE MERCHANDISE TO SELL. THEY HOPE IT CATCHES ON. MIKE SAYS HE’S GETTING TOO OLD TO PAINT HOUSES. HE’D LIKE TO RETIRE AND MAKE INSTRUMENTS FULL TIME. THESE ARTISTS HAVE A TOUGH ROW TO HOE, BUT THEY HAVE THIS ON THEIR SIDE…IN INSTRUMENTS AS IN MOST THINGS, PERFECTION IS ALWAYS IN DEMAND. ERIC OLSON REPORTING OUT IN YOUR COUNTRY.




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