Meet our Members: Michael Crozier
1) Introduce yourself – where are you based, what do you do and how long have you been a VWA member?
I am a ‘not-for-profit’ acoustic guitar maker. I have a workshop in our home garage, which I suspect was designed to just fit a Morris Minor. Nonetheless, I have somehow managed to accommodate numerous pieces of woodworking machinery (on castors galore), timber storage, an assortment of moulds and jigs, a wide array of hand tools and many clamps, and the all-important solid level work bench with a pattern makers vice that I can move from one end to the other. (Oh, and there are two gravel bikes as well that need to be moved out on work days).
I have been a member of the VWA for a year or so but have been discussing woodworking with the current VWA President Stephen Ziguras for decades.
2) When did you first get into your craft/practice and what was your journey to it?
Soon after retiring from a career as a University academic, my partner gave me a birthday present—a course in acoustic guitar making. I have tinkered with woodwork for most of my life and have played fingerstyle guitar since the early 1970s. The gift brought together these interests. The course was run by Chris Wynne at Monsalvat in Eltham (Vic) and I have never looked back. Chris, now based in rural France, has been a longstanding champion of Australian tonewoods as sustainable, sonically rich and aesthetically pleasing. Chris’s course introduced me to all aspects of the guitar making process starting with the selection of timbers through to final set up. Above all else, it gave me the confidence to develop my skills, leading me to explore new and diverse methods and materials. I had caught the bug including what may be described as the luthier’s obsession with exactitude. When asked about my practice, I describe it as Zen-like, a process involving a thousand steps. Nothing beats the moment when the shellac has cured and the instrument has been strung up for the first time, to hear how it sounds…and then you start pondering if and how it could have been done better.
3) Current top three music tracks you listen to or all time favourite song/artist
Some workshop music favourites:
- Ronn McFarlane, Fermi’s Paradox (album)
- Lonnie Johnson, ‘Mr. Johnson Swing’
- Old Crow Medicine Show, ‘Rainy Day Women #12 & 35’ (Live)
Follow Michael on Instagram here.