I can remember as a child the pleasure of my monthly haircut. My mum would drop me off at the hairdresser and go shopping. I would often fall asleep as it was a very relaxing experience. This routine came to an abrupt end in my early twenties when I chose to try out the hair dresser across the road from where I lived.

The haircut was given to me by a person who obviously was suffering from an extreme hangover. This person also must have been a heavy smoker who ate copious quantities of garlic. I do not have big ears but somehow she also managed to poke me in one.  In short I was traumatized and found the whole experience worse than a root canal from a dentist. To add insult to injury I had to pay for this. Looking back it is understandable that I cannot remember if the haircut was any good. . . .

I think it was at a subconscious level I chose never to allow this to happen again. It was either become a Rastafarian or cut my own hair. I chose the latter.

Needless to say my skill level as a hair dresser was initially very poor and because I only did a haircut once every month or two the learning curve was very shallow. It took decades before I could do a good haircut and not leave some hair sticking out at an obtuse angle. One can imagine the irony I felt when bits of hair sticking out becomes fashionable. It’s a bit like synchronicity in reverse.

Regardless I have chosen to continue giving myself tidy haircuts which is a bit like I have chosen to continue making mandolins. These instruments are definitely not fashionable here in Australia. However I will continue making them for as long as I can. Like hairdressing, skills making mandolins has taken a long time to master, and, the music they make leaves me in a state similar to a good haircut.

Mandolin making skills by Richard Morgan

About the Luthiers Journey article series

Richard Morgan is a maker (luthier) from Australia and a member of theMandolinTuner community. From the moment that Richard joined theMandolinTuner we started exchanging e-mails and I was very happy to read about his work, especially as Richard mandolins (and mandolas, mandocellos, etc.) are truly innovative, featuring a unique sound-board design and lots of other innovations as well.

Soon, I start thinking of Richard as a friend of mine and I shared with him my vision of creating a section for luthiers within theMandolinTuner, something I believe would be very interesting for theMandolinTuner community. I am happy to say that Richard liked my idea and what you read now is a series of articles we have planned as the first step towards realizing this vision. I named  this article series “A Luthiers Journey”.

So, enjoy Richard describing his journey as an instrument maker.

– Chris Rizos 

Instruments by Richard Morgan

Instruments by Richard Morgan are featured at www.extraordinaryinstruments.com

Mandolinist Christos Rizos Extraordinary Instruments