Meet the Builder: Michael Bashkin
My love of guitar building grew out of my interest in wood. I began building guitars in 1994 during my graduate studies in forestry at Colorado State University. While subsequently teaching tropical forestry in Belize, Central America, I took the opportunity to hand select many of the unique woods which are featured in my guitars. Along the way, I had the opportunity to study with noted luthiers Ervin Somogyi and Harry Fleishman. My approach to guitar-building, emphasizing a seamless connection between aesthetics and functionality, has been influenced by the work of both these master builders. In 1998, I opened my shop in Fort Collins, Colorado, building guitars full-time.
At other times in life I was a soil scientist for the U.S. Forest Service, a research assistant at Duke University studying tree response to climate change, and a commercial photography assistant in New York City. My love of photography and of Japanese wood-block prints has informed my approach to guitar building, particularly in my Collector Series guitars, including the African Blackwood OO-12 Fret and the Great Wave models. The clean lines and subtle textures of Bashkin Guitars owe a great deal to my love of nature as well. I have always enjoyed studying our environment and recreating in the beautiful Rocky mountains. In 1992, I spent five months hiking the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada. My wife and I enjoy living and skiing in Colorado with our daughters Zoe and Riley.