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constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1685
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

Shop assistant? 

Hey, guys.

You are all part of my life and I have had a very big disaster so I am reaching out wherever I can. My beautiful 18-year-old son committed suicide a week ago. I am trying to get on with my life. I have had tremendous support from friends and family over the past week. But I live and have worked alone. My friends and family say that I can't go on working alone all the time and they are probably right. Being alone right now is the hardest thing, even for short periods.

Some of my friends say I should just go out and get a job. But even now when I talk to people about my guitar making I come so alive and passionate and I stop thinking about my son for a while. I have shown friends and family around my shop over the past week and it has the same effect. I know I want to carry on with this work. It is what I love.

I am sure most or all of us build guitars completely alone. Am I not right? I know of one builder, Robert Ruck, who has an assistant. There are many people who would like to apprentice with me, but I presume they would like to get my knowledge and then go off and work on their own. Maybe if I could get things really rolling--what else am I going to do? I don't have to take care of my son any more--I could be generating enough income to be able to pay someone. It might help if it was a really hot chick

Please give me your thoughts on this.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 15:33:28
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Deepest condolences Ethan.

Hot chicks make working very difficult.
When I was managing restaurants, one hot girl on shift would kill everyone elses productivity levels lol
I suppose unless they were all hot chicks.............

_____________________________

\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 15:46:16
 
cavaliotis

 

Posts: 94
Joined: Dec. 12 2005
From: GREECE

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Dear Ethan,

my deepest condolences .... be strong and keep doing what you are doing best .....
take your time to mourn ...

George
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 15:55:47
 
krichards

Posts: 597
Joined: Jan. 14 2007
From: York, England

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

That must be very hard to bear and very distressing for you. I've never had to deal with anything like that myself. I can only imagine the sadness.
My thoughts are with you, of course.

I'm not sure if an assistant would help. It could be a bundle of trouble, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.

_____________________________

Kevin Richards

http://www.facebook.com/#!/kevin.richards.1048554
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 15:58:29
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Back in Boston

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

ethan, i am so sorry to hear of your loss. you love building guitars so i would recommend you to stay with what you love. if guitar building is losing its appeal you do have a doctorate in chemistry to fall back on. however, i am not sure it would be all that healthy to find a job just to avoid what you are feeling.
i would highly recommend to you to see a therapist. suicide can stir up the emotional pot especially when it is children. seeing a therapist is one of the best things a person can do to address the feelings and emotions that arise from life stressors, especially suicide. it is healthy to seek out this service in times of need.

hang in there.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 16:24:48
 
Turner

 

Posts: 81
Joined: Nov. 5 2011
 

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Ethan,

My most heartfelt condolences on your terrible loss.

From your posting and having seen your guitars I think it's a case of chemistry... shemistry... Why get a job your heart isn't in to hide from the pain? It won't work for you, it never does. If your passion is guitar making then that is what you should be doing. If you'd wanted to be in chemistry you would be doing that now, no?

At times like these people will often blame themselves for what has happened when in fact the choice made was not yours to make. Take time to grieve and realise that it is a process you have to go through now, hiding from it won't make it go away it'll only store it up for later, when it may be worse. Take time to celebrate the guy, talk about him, don't hide from him. Get it out.

Regarding the assistant, I don't doubt that you would have a bunch of applicants to choose from but do you want someone cluttering up the place and slowing you down?
It might be good in the short term but would it help you. Your decision my friend.

Using a therapist was mentioned above and is always something to consider, they work for some folks and not others and my guess is they don't come cheap. In many cities there is a 'distress centre' type of facility where you can phone (for free) and talk to someone as and when you need to. They are confidential 24 hour services so can be useful at the depths of the night. Seattle probably has one in the phone book. Again, your decision.

If you need us we'll be here for you.

Don't be shy.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 16:51:06
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

So many thoughts going through my head. None of which however could really be of help. I only wished to be living in your neighbourhood, so that I could come by from time to time.

My thoughts and feelings are with you, Ethan. I have always been feeling calmness between your lines, and am convinced that you are of the dearest kind. Just the more touchig to hear of this shattering occurance.
My deepest condolences, my friend.


-

To have found a profession of passion in my world ought to be one of the highest privileges in life. From there I think you should stick to making beautiful instruments.

A romantic developing assistsant could be contra productive to your work, and harming if it fails. A platonic, but fitting and amicable person could be suiting well as fellow in the shop. However, how to know in advance who could be like that.

Maybe most safe would be if your friends decided to come by for a break more frequently for a while. Their vibes could be doing good, even in moments when they be reading in a magazine or so while you continue at the bench.

It just does good to see that one has friends. People who feel for and with you.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 17:07:17
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

I will not dwell on the heartbreaking news you shared, Ethan, save for expressing my affectionate solidarity and prayers.

On the subject of an "apprentice" I will share my two cents:

An apprentice will rejuvenate you and your work, not unlike when you show around your city to a foreigner, and as you see it through the visitor's eyes, you rediscover every single and beautiful detail you were taking for granted.

Apprentices come and go, true; however, you want them to, because nothing will give you more satisfaction than to see your "disciples" unfold their wings as you taught them to, and take on their own flight. New apprentices will come and spin the wheel of the rejuvenation cycle again and again.

I have always kept "one" intern/apprentice at my firm. Most of them made it to prestigious law schools and are now at great law firms. But all of them, on occasion, will send me a thank you note for affording them that opportunity. A few things in life have repaid me more than those expressions of gratitude.

Every apprentice left a few words of advice for the next, always the same admonishment, creating a little tradition:

"if you work for gj, you'll go home crying every night for about a month, but if you survive, he will turn you into a lawyer."

They now are, each of them, somehow, my own children…

Godspeed.

_____________________________

gj Michelob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 19:28:35
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1749
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

My deepest condolences for your lost Ethan.
I am speechless. Keep strong.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 20:15:39
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1685
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to gj Michelob

Thanks, everyone, for your condolences and thoughts on apprentices.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 20:59:32
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Well, difficult post to write and more so to reply to, everything is so recent I don't think you know what you want or need yet. You definitely need family and Friends. Not an assistant, I cannot imagine ,as a father , your loss or your life now.
I would suggest inaction for the moment, the time will come when you know what you need but it is not yet.
My most heartfelt condolences, amigo

_____________________________

Don't trust Atoms.....they make up everything.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 21:04:20
 
RTC

Posts: 667
Joined: Aug. 20 2008
From: DFW Area, Texas

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Ethan:

I am sorry to read about your great loss.
My heartfelt condolences.

Ramiro
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 21:30:32
 
Escribano

Posts: 6422
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

I am so, so sorry to hear this, Ethan.

It might be a little soon to make such decisions, especially if they affect your working environment.

I would suggest you keep doing what you know and love and make any such choice wisely, and in good time. Grieving is a long process with many phases.

Keep reaching out to your friends. They will be there for you.

_____________________________

Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 22:02:30
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1685
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to Ruphus

Ruphus, I was going to private message you, but that feature of the website wasn't working for me today. I was looking forward to your reply, and I wanted to invite you to friend me on Facebook if you use it. All of you are also welcome to friend me on Facebook. That is a place where we can share more that is not lutherie.

Oh, turns out my private messages were working, apparently, but the site told me there was a problem.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 22:25:09
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 3026
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Ethan,
My deepest condolences. My son is 7 weeks old now and I can't imagine how you must feel.
Focus on the good memories you have with you son and the fact that he brought joy to people's lives.

Working alone can be a little depressing. I listen to podcasts (mostly comedy) to keep me focused and in good spirits.

Please don't stop making your art. You're an excellent craftsman and a fine musician. If it's possible I would seek out other musicians/dancers to play with. Making music with other people can be a really uplifting experience.

I've thought about the idea of paying someone to help around the shop but I can't imagine myself ever doing that. There just aren't enough parts of making a guitar that I could ever allow someone else to do for me. But having an apprentice or someone to help out for free could be a fun thing to do.

Best of luck to you. My thoughts are with you.

_____________________________

Andy Culpepper, luthier
http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 1 2014 23:07:42
 
koenie17

Posts: 438
Joined: Feb. 25 2011
From: España

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

I'm so sorry sorry for you Ethan, i'm a father of two boys myself, I can't imagine how difficult this must
be for you right now. I wouldn't take any quick decisions right now and give it the time you need to try and get things together.
Spend time with friends and family or people you can talk and cry with. Please don't stop building guitars!!!
Maybe in time take a holiday to a place you havn't been to.
Give it lots of time I'm sure it will be really difficult.
My deepest condolences and hang in there.

Good luck Ethan

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 0:20:44
 
Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1506
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Ethan, what a tragedy. I have to agree with what has already been said and suggest you meet with a professional who can help you process this experience.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 0:53:53
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14921
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

I have always been kind of a "loner". Nowadays it is impossible for me to get much alone time, but I do on occasion and enjoy it. When my father passed away when I was 17 there were many people around me for a week or two. That felt good, but then suddenly I was all alone...except my mother of course, but she had a day job and I have to say I don't think it is such a bad thing to be alone sometimes. I focused on music and discovered the world of flamenco very deeply and perhaps I wouldn't have other wise if I had lots of distraction from people around me. But I know everybody is different. Just do what feels right amigo, don't force anything. I personally feel privileged to have had the opportunity to try one of your excellent instruments last summer. Keep up the good work! I am sure if i lived near you I'd be going over to your shop and test driving your work all the time.
Ricardo

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 1:22:11
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1685
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to Ricardo

Thanks some more you guys.

I went to a support group tonight and it was great. Had the most peace in a week when I got home. Meets 2 Mondays a month.

Actually worked in the shop for half an hour today. Couldn't stand being so inactive.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 5:59:59
 
edguerin

Posts: 1590
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

My most heartfelt condolences!
I too think it's too soon for big decisions. Take your time. The support group sounds good. I'd recommend waiting a few months before deciding wether you want/need a therapist.

_____________________________

Ed

El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 8:20:05
 
machopicasso

 

Posts: 980
Joined: Nov. 27 2010
 

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Ethan, I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your son. That can be really tough.

I also respect the sense of humor you're able to muster in the midst of it all.

quote:

It might help if it was a really hot chick


I'm not a builder and so have nothing to add regarding the value of having an assistant. But I am a loner to the nth degree. Sometimes being with other people in the midst of a tragedy is helpful. And sometimes it's better to be on your own. It sounds like the occasional support group you've joined might be a way to strike the right balance.

Apart from that, if (merely) talking about guitar making is a source of passion and joy for you, then it sounds like making guitars is a great resource when you have the energy for it. And I suspect you'll have more energy in the days to come.

Hang in there, man.

You'll get through this.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 9:54:06
 
Argaith

Posts: 481
Joined: May 6 2009
From: Iran (living in London)

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Ethan,

Please accept my most heartfelt condolences. I read your post last night but I was too speechless to write anything!

Please carry on building those beautiful guitars; you are a true artist.

All the best,
A

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 11:06:24
 
Wayne Brown

 

Posts: 124
Joined: Oct. 22 2012
From: Huntersville, North Carolina, USA

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

My condolences, Ethan.

Wayne
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 13:56:21
 
Mark2

Posts: 1888
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

My deepest condolences. I can't imagine how difficult this is. Wishing you peace.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 15:43:05
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3435
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Ethan-

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. It must be devastating.

At my age I have accumulated a few losses. For the most part they have been people who had lived long and full lives, but a few had not.

All I can offer is that in the cases that struck hard, over the course of time the pain has gradually subsided, but the fond memories have remained.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 16:20:41
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Ethan,

I don't have many words but heart felt sorrow, and this is to say you are welcome to visit me and family in San Antonio when you have some time. You are in our prayers.

We can have some intellectual exchange about guitar making, with long lunches at some of my favorite cafes. The weather is a little hot in September but in October things start to cool off a bit.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 16:24:44
 
ralexander

Posts: 797
Joined: Jun. 1 2010
From: Halifax, Nova Scotia

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Very sorry to hear this, Ethan - my sincere condolences. Please take care of yourself. I think an assistant sounds like an awesome idea. I like the thought of you "lone-wolf" builders passing on your knowledge to the next generation. I've gotten into general woodworking in the past year or so, and as much as I enjoy my alone time it can definitely get lonely in the shop. I got myself a little bluetooth speaker to connect to my phone so I always have great music to keep me company. All the best to you and yours.

_____________________________

Ryan
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 16:49:22
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3532
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

My condolences, Ethan.

_____________________________

Connect with me on Facebook, all the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/migueldemariaZ


Arizona Wedding Music Guitar
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 16:53:12
 
Don Dionisio

 

Posts: 360
Joined: Feb. 16 2011
From: Durham, NC

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Ethan,
I am also very sorry for your loss. Please don't make any big decisions for a while and
continue going to the support group if you find it helpful. Everyone (me included) likes
to give advise, but sometimes you have to give yourself time to recover. By going to
a support group, you are already taking care of yourself.
You are in my thoughts. Please continue to take care of yourself.
I wish you internal peace.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 17:03:40
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Shop assistant? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Ethan,

My deepest condolences on your loss. I suggest you not make any quick decisions regarding an apprentice. What seems good now might not work out so well later, after your initial period of grief has run its course. give it some time, maybe a a month, and see if the idea still has appeal.

Best regards,

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 2 2014 20:41:17
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