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Vermont guitar-maker shares his skills - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont guitar-maker shares his skills

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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. -

For Scott Hausmann, the love for creating guitars came from the love of playing them.

"I built my first guitar in 1975 and I immediately got the bug because instrument making was kind of the perfect intersection of woodworking and music," Hausmann said.

Forty years later, Hausman owns and runs Brattleboro's Whetstone School of Lutherie, one of the only schools of its kind, sharing the art of guitar-making, in the state of Vermont.

"Learning how to build an instrument, actually doing all that work and finally getting to play that first instrument you've made is really, truly a wonderful thing," Hausmann said.

The Whetstone School offers workshops in making acoustic guitars, mandolins and ukuleles. Classes are usually one to two weeks long and use materials from around the country. Students come from all over and keep their finished products.

Hausmann has made nearly 100 instruments on his own and sells some of his one-of-a-kind work.

"My guitars range in price from about $2,000 to $3,000," he said.

Hausmann teaches a blend of machine and hand techniques in a "completely from scratch" approach to a craft rarely seen these days.

"The musical instrument industry is suffering a little bit, the number of instruments being made is going down," Hausmann said. "But I wouldn't say it's dying because I don't think you're ever going to be able to completely squelch the desire to make things."

One person who proves that is Beth Eakin.

"I love to build things, I love to make things, I love to make music. I've been making little toy instruments for a few years, and I wanted to bring that to the level where I was making a real instrument," Eakin said.

The music teacher traveled from Brooklyn, New York, to learn how to build a ukulele, a long process that she says has been full of challenging surprises.

"I think that craft is important," she said. "It connects you to your instrument. Every single thing you do is a little adventure, it's like little, mini, bite-size adventures as you go."

Each little adventure that Hausmann says produces the same joy he felt after making his first guitar.

"Every single time it's a rewarding experience," he said.

One that he hopes to pass on to every one of his students.

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