A bit of history with ELWelker...

I am an audio engineer and producer, not a player per se(even though I consider the recording studio an instrument in it's own right), and I've always liked things that combined the aural and mechanical worlds. Maybe one day I'll get off my butt and get more into learning more about one of my favorite instruments, the electric bass.

Back some time ago, before the Internet existed in the form it does today, I became a member of the PAN Network. PAN was created with the goal of being a self-help organization for self-managed performers, but quickly expanded its charter to include all professionals throughout the music industry.

One of the individuals I met "online" back then was Larry Welker from Cornish, New Hampshire, an area which has a famed tradition as an artist colony including artists such as  Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Maxfield Parrish. Larry is a lifelong musician, wood/metal/leather designer and worker, master luthier, and a member of the American Guild of Luthiers. I was able to visit he and his wife Kathleen at their home for the first time in the summer of 2000.

At the time Larry had an extensive wood and metalworking shop housed in an 80' barn at his home. I am a true geek when it comes to tools, and this shop was like a toy store! Sadly in 2004 the shop was destroyed in a fire started by workers doing work on the barn.

Fast forward to 2009 when I heard from Larry telling me that he was now building guitars at his new shop in Claremont, New Hampshire. I was planning to spend some time in the area with my girlfriend and stayed a few days at his home during our travels. The day we arrived was June 25th... the day that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died. We were at a gig that Larry and his band were playing when we saw the news on the TV... it was surreal. I visited the shop and was impressed by the guitar-building facility in a three-story(well, basement and two floors!) structure located in the heart of Claremont. Even more impressive than the shop(and for ME this is saying something) was what the shop produced... these fine hand-crafted instruments.


Atelier Du EL Welker, Claremont, NH

Later on that year I was heading back up to New England to spend New Year's 2010 in Montpelier, Vermont. Since my summer visit Larry and I had talked about the possibility of me bringing down a guitar to show around this area. We stopped by the shop in Claremont on the way to our lodging in Brookfield VT, and picked up one of the Rue Du Royale leather-wrapped archtops in order to exhibit it to interested parties, one of these opportunities being to show it at the 2010 Brookdale Guitar Show.

Have a quick tour of the shop below...

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