Italian luthier Enrico Bottelli has been constructing guitars since 1981, and began focusing exclusively on classical instruments in 1988. In the early 1980s he studied steel-string making with Ervin Somogyi in Berkeley, California, and the Kasha system with Richard Schneider in 1988. The pivotal period however was in 1994 and 1995 when Botelli studied the traditional Spanish techniques of classical guitar construction under the great twentieth century master and pedagogue of lutherie, Jose Luis Romanillos. This introduction to the style of the great late 19th and early 20th century Spanish masters would be the groundwork from which Bottelli would proceed with his own work, up to the present day. He has since spent a good deal of time studying and examining great instruments from the past by such legends as Antonio de Torres, Enrique Garcia, Manuel Ramirez, Hermann Hauser I, Jose Romanillos and David Rubio which have further informed his style and approach to his craft.
Enrico wanted to share some thoughts on the guitar, named "Twelve" just after completing construction: "This instrument that I have built for GSI follows my consolidated style and my experienced principles regarding construction and sound. Starting with a traditional Spanish 7 fan bracing pattern for the soundboard, I always look for perfect balance between rigidity and flexibility and the right weight and mass distribution in the different areas of the top in order to obtain the result I set out for. This instrument in particular reflects and shows perfectly and fully what I am looking for in a guitar: a fundamental, cathedral-like deep bass, firm and sustaining, to support the music; a warm, relaxed and full middle range; a round, thick, dense, creamy but transparent, clear and sustaining treble with a touch of sweetness and allure, a touch of soul... This will develop through the years, gaining more and more focus and losing the brightness naturally found in a new spruce top instrument. It is already an open, responsive guitar with great volume, presence and projection, quick attack, but still the possibility to work the string during the attack and obtain many different sounds needed to express all the musical nuances. I do not obtain this through particular secrets, new inventions or 21st century materials. It's just that since the very beginning when I was a young maker I have devoted all my time and effort in search of the most beautiful, complete possible sound. I have seen and inspected a wonderful selection of the best instruments ever built and I have found that only some (very few) of the old Spanish guitars and some of the new instruments (in the Spanish tradition) could produce sounds that moved me. So I have just allowed myself to be inspired by that beauty which informed my personal sound - learning by experience and meticulous observation, trying to improve every aspect one instrument after the other. An instrument, to be a really complete work of art, must also be beautiful to look at with well-chosen materials and it is with great effort and with my personal taste as a guide, that I set out to accomplish this task. Beautiful woods and harmonic forms, precise workmanship, elegant and elaborate decoration, and a warm, deep, clear shellac varnish. The name "Twelve" is a significant number for me and my family and also this guitar is the twelfth special instrument of this kind that I have built until now." - Enrico Bottelli
Simply stated, this instrument is a super-responsive, lightweight, traditionally inspired classical guitar. It has great musicality - a wide range of tone colors and balanced blend of deep bass notes, warm mid-range and clear, round, well defined singing trebles. It has plenty of power to carry in any hall either in ensemble or as a solo instrument. It was built with rare, select materials and is visually striking for its precise craftsmanship, refined inlay and detailing work and elegant design, particularly in the rosette and purfling throughout. Even the nut at the headstock is subtly and beautifully inlaid. Enrico Bottelli’s work has been displayed at numerous important exhibitions and conventions in Italy, Europe and the USA. We are proud to be representing this fine maker in the USA.