Menabrea Biella

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The world is full of committed artisans and craftspeople who choose to do things differently – to bring a slow-paced, seasoned hand to their craft. This year we’re honouring this devotion with our #MenabreaMaestro classes; a series of showcases around the UK where we can demonstrate their passion. #MenabreaMaestro is about shining a light on the local and exceptional, bringing out the character of a place through the talent and perseverance of its skilled denizens.

In August, we ran our first Maestro class, inviting Glasgow-born luthiers Ricky Claffey and Ian Dickinson to the Raven in Glasgow to share an insight into their craft. We invited local enthusiasts along as well, so they could get a first-hand look into the origins of their passion.

Before the main event, we gave everyone the opportunity to relax, take in their surroundings, indulge in some food and of course enjoy a glass of our birra.

When they took to the stage, Ricky and Ian began by taking the audience through their process, explaining the different types of woods used for different guitars, and different sounds. They told of how various woods from as far afield as Africa and Mexico are hand-picked and brought to their studio in Finnieston, before being assessed and planned into their process. Ricky and Ian passed round samples of the different woods, letting the audience really feel the difference in texture, tone and composition, bringing a greater level of interactivity and immersion to the evening.

As the evening drew to a close, Ricky and Ian’s friend Alastair played a selection of songs designed to highlight the different features of each guitar. They played traditional bluesy riffs that helped connect this modernised, ancient craft to the origins of the rock ‘n’ roll movement, and the true re-birth of the guitar as an instrument of passion and delight.

It was clear from the amount of questions being fielded to the team that the session had really sparked our audience’s imaginations. Over a birra, our experts talked late into the evening about their experiences as true craftsmen. Our audience left happy and inspired by this, the first in our Menabrea Maestro series.

We’re already counting down to the next one.

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