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Charis (Bill Wise) Learn More +

Charis (Bill Wise)
In 1996, while searching for a new guitar to satisfy his desire for a high quality fingerstyle instrument, those who knew of Bill's extraordinary wood-working talent suggested that he build his own. He had never really thought about building a guitar until that moment. Though he loved woodworking and guitars, he had never considered putting the two interests together. However, after stringing up his first instrument and hearing the clarity and beauty of its music, he decided to become a luthier full time.It was then that Charis Acoustic was born.The demanding skills and attention to detail required to design and build a superior guitar were not new to Bill. During his 15 years in the engineering profession, he was recognized on a number of occasions for his outstanding work in the industry, including: * Receiving grants for seven United States Patents * Receiving three defensive publications * Being selected by the GM President's Council as one of the top 100 individuals of General Motors in 1995 * Receiving the prestigious Charles "Boss" Kettering award from Delphi Delco Electronics Systems in 1995 * Being inducted into the Delphi Automotive Innovation Hall of fame in 1999.Despite his success in the engineering profession, it was his passion for creating guitars, which ultimately drove him to follow this new career path.Music and craftsmanship are woven into the fabric of Bill's heritage. His father and grandfather are both excellent craftsmen and mechanical designers, and his mother's family exudes artistic and musical talent. With such a rich combination of genetics and family influence, it's no wonder Bill has found his way to this unique pursuit.
Music has always been a part of my life, from church choir as a youth, to band in Jr High and High school, to learning to play guitar in college. Woodworking has been a hobby since graduation from college. I’ve made various tables, bookcases, bunkbeds, and such. My father, like his father, was always tinkering with something in the shop and I can’t remember a time when dad wasn’t working on one project or another. It is hard to envision a future without a shop to tinker in, I’m just so at home there. Prior to lutherie, I spent 17 successful years (7 patents, a couple awards from GM and Delphi, and induction into the Delphi Automotive Innovation Hall of Fame) in the engineering profession. Charis Acoustic began in my basement workshop in 1996 while looking for a nice guitar to play. After considering building my own guitar, the decision was made to give it a try. Like many others, I was hooked. There is a certain pride and accomplishment that occurs when you finish that first, second, and third instrument. To hold them in your hands and hear the music coming from your creations is a very satisfying experience that quickly becomes an addiction. The next six years were spent building and learning this craft in the evenings and on weekends. Encouragement from Michael Card and a quick visit to Jim Olson’s shop in Minnesota during this time especially inspired me. These early years and first few guitars were instrumental in developing the Character and Charisma that became Charis.
Bay City, Michigan
Phil Keaggy, Michael Card, Jason Truby, Scott Bernard, Barney Betka, Nathan Tasker, John Michael Talbot, Ray Cummins, Jonah Sage, Greg Lygon, Mike Pachelli, Andrej Grozdanov, Doug Adamz
Small Jumbo, Grand Concert