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Rich has been designing, building, and repairing fretted string instruments since 1983, after completing his studies at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix, Arizona. While attending the school, Rich was greatly influenced by master craftsman and instructor William Eaton (refer to Acoustic Guitar Magazine, N0.61, pp.64-67). After leaving Roberto-Venn, Rich acquired additional experience while working for Fretted Instruments International (the parent company to Oscar Schmidt Autoharps and Washburn Guitars) and Philip Kubicki Guitar Technology of Santa Barbara, California. Rich’s shop is not geared towards mass production techniques, although jigs and tooling are certainly used to cut down on the time spent on the more tedious and repetitious steps in the construction process. Rich prefers to build from one to three instruments at a time, and usually completes from 12 – 16 instruments each year. These instruments are handcrafted works of art that are built to the specifications of the client. Rich does keep several instruments available as portfolio/demonstration pieces so that potential clients can experience the quality of his work.