Symposium 2011 in Review
At ASIA’s biennial symposium, guitar builders and players of all skill levels gather to learn, teach, and play guitar. It is also a great place to see, try, and buy traditional to modern jigs and tools, and select the choicest guitar wood from the myriad vendors who attend. ASIA puts together an incredible program that is sure to increase your skill and pleasure in pursuing luthiery.
The 2011 ASIA Symposium was held June 8–12, 2011 at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
This year’s event was a rousing success. 240 members attended the fun and informative workshops, soaked up the delightful atmosphere, and many came away with some great bargains from the exhibiting vendors and auction. Guitarmaker Issue 77 was dedicated to the symposium, and Issues 78 Special, 79, and 82 contain the special CITES/Lacey Act presentations. Keep reading to see some photos to remind you of what you saw, or let you know what fun you missed.
Although the symposium offers camaraderie and opportunities to stock up on luthier supplies and tools, the primary reason to attend is for the workshops. This year we had a wide array of presenters on topics such as inlay, mandolin building, and a new way to build archtop and arched-back guitars.
The vendor area is always a highlight of the symposium, and this year was no exception. You could handle (and buy) the latest tools from Stewart-MacDonald and LMI, select the perfect set of wood from numerous dealers, and play guitars from several ASIA members. This vendor area was open all day, but it can be hard to find time between the workshops to visit. This year, an entire afternoon was free of workshops and devoted solely to the vendor area. The cafeteria offered good food and a chance to relax with friends, new or old.
The ASIA auction…neither words nor pictures can describe the mayhem and laughter at this culminating event. There were terrific bargains like a complete inlay kit (including air compressor) donated by Dave Nichols, and a full Fox bender setup donated by John Hall. Or you could have bought a variety of unique tonewood, a full box of vintage right-hand tuners, or a lifetime supply of nacreous delights courtesy the Duke of Pearl. Nothing was left behind and ASIA netted a tidy sum for the organization.
Look at all the smiles on the bidders’ faces. Guarranteed there is nothing else like the antics that ensue when Dick Boak and Dave Nichols take the stage.