Rollo is a luthier working with Hawai'i grown woods and other tonewoods. He creates one of a kind instruments emphasizing tonal characteristics, playability, craftsmanship, and aesthetics. He hand-builds custom acoustic steel string guitars and ukuleles in his Kailua, O'ahu shop.
As a luthier, my creative process begins when I commit to paper the design in my head. Body shape and size, scale length, bracing layouts, and aesthetic appointments are just some of the considerations. The selection of woods involves choosing the species, considering the figure, colors and hues that complement each other, and matching the woods for their tonal characteristics. The possibilities are endless, sometimes daunting, but always exciting. When I'm building, I am focused on the details, but not aware of the passing of time.
Building custom guitars and ukuleles are not only about working with wood, it is about working with people. Those who commission an instrument are intimately involved with and attached to, their instruments. Every detail matters to them. My life has been greatly enriched by the relationships I've developed with these individuals, many of whom have become close friends.
Because the details and appointments of each instrument vary, as do the desires of the client, the process of building is complex, lengthy...and rewarding. Once the instrument is assembled and the finish applied, the beauty of the wood comes to life. But it si not until the instrument is played, when its voice is heard, that the full expression of the luthier and the player is evident.