2018 Sergio Valverde Castillo SP/CO
|Back & Sides:
Sergio Valverde Castillo has an extensive woodworking background. He studied cabinet making and carpentry in a trade school in Adra (near Almería) in the 1990's, and afterwords worked in general carpentry making cabinets, wardrobes, inlay and artistic works. He set up his own workshop in Mecina Bombarón - La Alpujarra (in the mountains outside of Granada) in 2002. Due to his love for music and musical instruments, in 2014 he decided to change his professional life, and dedicate his knowledge and skills with wood to building guitars and other stringed instruments, such as the Spanish Lute and the Bandurria. Sergio learned guitar making with master Stephen Hill at the "European Institute of Guitar Making" where he also received instruction from Pablo Requena. Afterwards, Sergio furthered his education in guitar making with Jesús Bellido and his family who generously taught Sergio about the Spanish lute and bandurria, permitting him to use their original templates and molds. Nowadays they remain his source of information for all questions related to his daily guitar work.
This lovely instrument was carefully built with a keen eye to detail, with exacting craftsmanship and superb materials, particularly the stunning set of highly figured cocobolo with its dramatic interplay of reddish hartwood with the lighter, more yellow-ish sapwood - Sergio tastefully used this material for the back, sides, head veneer, bridge and tie block inlay, giving it a lovely, unified aesthetic. It has a solid, sturdy build, with sound that is surprisingly huge with a rich color palette, and a great deal of warmth, even for a spruce top. The tone is textured, with ample overtones yet excellent clarity and balance. The understated and yet very elegant design shows an appreciation for balance and proportion in the dimensions and shapes of the entire instrument. The rosette features a lovely repeated mosaic pattern of a nasrid star design (commonly seen in Andalusian architecture) which has two interlocked squares, one green, one red, enclosed in a black background which gives the instrument a clean, crisp look. Overall a beautifully made instrument by Granada's current top young new builder - as is indicated on the label of this guitar, Sergio Valverde was awarded first-prize at the prestigious Antonio Marin Montero Guitar Making Competition held in Granada, Spain in October, 2017.
Photos of this guitar being built.