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Annette Stephany became fascinated with luthery at the age of 14 when she met a violin maker, and her father who was very handy introduced her to working with wood. At the age of 21, after high school and some travel, she enrolled in the Luthier School in Mittenwald (Kathrin Hauser happens to have been there at the same time) and completed her course three years later. While at school she worked for the harp maker Eric Kleinmann, from Rangendingen near Stuttgart, and as soon as she finished school she went to apprentice with Italian luthier Lorenzo Frignani in Modena, Italy. She had met Frignani at the Frankfurt Music Fair while at school and had immediately fallen in love with his instruments. She worked out of Frignani’s shop until 2013 (with a one-year interruption, during which she did a restoration course in Bernhard Kresse’s workshop at Cologne). In 2014 she moved to Cologne where she shared a shop with Kresse. She now works on her own in Schweinfurt, Germany.
This guitar is Annette's own design, based on many of her biggest influences, including a 1906 Enrique Garcia and 1910 Manuel Ramirez (both owned by Lorenzo Frignani) that she was able to study over the course of several years. Some aesthetic details like head shape and rosette are influenced by Frignani's work. This guitar was made with beautiful quilted maple for the back, sides and head veneer, and finished using a violin varnishing technique learned from Frignani (who also makes violins). Her familiarity with the original vintage instruments has proven advantageous since she has done a great job of capturing the spirit of the older guitars with a lightweight build that produces a beautiful and lyrical quality of sound. She also brings modern elements to the guitar including great clarity and separation between voices and a surprising amount of volume. This is a very versatile instrument which would be suitable for any style of music, for solo playing, or in ensemble.
Photos of this guitar taken just after completion