Wren Guitar Works
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Introduction


Wren Guitar Works

   
     Hello everyone! Welcome to my website. This site is definitely a work in progress and will be updated every month with new prototypes and current instruments, as well as more content with regards to my building philosophy.  Here is a brief biography of my professional life by way of an introduction.


Wren Guitars


     In 1973 I rode a bicycle from Toronto to Regina,  with my only reading material being Irving Sloane's "Classical Guitar Construction".  By the time I returned home,  this book resembled a well-worn comic book more than the hard cover text it started life as.  I was hooked.    
  
     Later that same year I had the incredible good fortune to be accepted as an apprentice by the father of Canadian guitar building,  Jean-Claude Larrivee.  This one kind act on the part of Jean has been a positive influence on my professional career every single day since. There simply is no better training ground to learn the diverse skill-set of lutherie, than working with one of our generation's greatest guitar builders... Jean-Claude Larrivee. Since that time, I've come to know hundreds of craftspeople, but Jean remains the most naturally gifted craftsperson I've ever met.  

Larrivee Shop 1977

 

     During my tenure at the Larrivee workshop I was also lucky to be able to work with a series of extremely talented artisans including Grit Laskin,  Linda Manzer, Sergei de Jonge, Tony Duggan-Smith and George Gray.

George Gray Jean Larrivee Jean Larrivee David Wren David Wren David Wren
Photos circa 1975 of the Toronto Larrivee Shop


     By 1977, I opened my own guitar building shop and enjoyed some success over the next 10 years,  with an annual production of 20 - 24 instruments.   During that time period,  the foremost internationally distributed acoustic guitar magazine was the Guitar Player Publication "Frets".  I was fortunate to receive high marks in their monthly review of handmade acoustic instruments. 


Wren Guitar Works

 

   During the seventies and eighties I was privileged to accept orders from performers that included Bruce Cockburn,  Jackson Browne and Joan Baez. I produced close to two hundred guitars in the old Elmer Avenue and Oakcrest Avenue shops ... everything from my original Concert body style to Orchestra Models and Dreadnoughts, as well as hand carved archtop jazz guitars.


Wren Guitar Works
The old Oakcrest Shop circa 1981


     From 1990 until 2009 I was a partner in the Twelfth Fret Guitarists' Pro Shop in Toronto.  My responsibilities included developing the acoustic instrument roster with special emphasis on small-shop and individual luthier brands.  From 1996 until 2009 I also developed and maintained all aspects of the store's website.

   Working in a retail environment that specialized in high-end acoustic guitars gave me access to a wide array of instruments from all over the world. Studying these instruments in detail ... their dimensions, resonant frequencies, top graduations, plate radius details ... was an education that has been invaluable to my developement as a luthier.


Twelfth Fret


    In September of 2009, the call to build guitars again became too loud to ignore ... it was time to sharpen my chisels once again. At that point in time I was able to build an instrument with my friend Sergei de Jonge, who helped me get my woodworking chops back up to speed, and along with his daughter Joshia, taught me to French Polish. The de Jonge family's influence can be seen in my instruments in many ways ... my finish, spalted wood rosette and side port are all from Sergei de Jonge.

    I am currently very busy designing and building new prototype guitars and ramping up for my new season of building in 2013. I hope you enjoy my site, and please feel free to contact me at   wrenguitarworks@rogers.com   if you have any questions, or just want to say "hello"!

Wren Guitar Works

 


Wren Guitars