I come from a family of machinists, carpenters, musicians and teachers, and having an interest in music and instrument making follows pretty naturally. I was born in western Pennsylvania and lived there as a boy, and my early interest in working with my hands came from spending summers with my grandfather who was an inventor and machinist. I loved watching him working and seeing how things were made. Eventually I was shown how to use the metal lathes, micrometers and other tools used in precision work in his shop. My father who was an anthropologist, trained as a tool and die maker as a young man and like many in my family, he worked in the industrial shops and mills common in the area in those days.
Around this same age, or perhaps a bit later, during family trips to West Virginia I was lucky to see and hear musicians who would get together to play for fun. It was a great experience, although it was years later before I began learning to play. These two interests – making things and music – have been something I've wanted to learn about and happily they come together in instrument making. I am fortunate to have been influenced and to have learned from a variety of talented craftsmen over the years, including but not limited to, my grandfather, John Bridge, my father, Patrick Gallagher, Paul Reisler, Sam Rizzetta, Rod Cameron and Jeff Sherman.