Simon Ambridge Guitar
My interest in guitars began back in the early 60’s with the explosion of the pop music industry. My first guitar, a cheap, burgundy coloured, acoustic f hole cutaway soon had a pickup fitted, got played endlessly and became what I recognize now as the seed of a passion which has endured to this day.
Born in London, in 1951, I come from a family with a long tradition of cabinetmaking dating back to the 18th century. Although a keen woodworker from an early age I decided to study graphic design before setting up a successful furniture making business in London. In 1978 I made my first acoustic guitar based on a Martin 0045, then soon after I made a small Torres style classical with help from Kevin Aram who has since established himself as a leading luthier.
At this point my path was clear; I was hooked. However, it was a further ten years before it was possible to devote myself to guitar making full time.
Becoming a full time guitar maker coincided with my move to Devon in the southwest of England, thanks to a setting up grant from the Crafts Council of Great Britain. I was particularly honored by this grant since the selectors included Jose Romanillos, David Rubio and Paul Fischer. In 1991 I received awards from the David Canter Memorial fund and Southwest Arts. In 1995 I moved into a studio on the Dartington estate in South Devon, home of the renowned Dartington International Summer School.
Over the years I have enjoyed a growing international reputation with customers in North and South America, Canada, the Far East and Australia as well as mainland Europe and the UK. I live with my wife Anna in South Brent, Devon, within the Dartmoor National Park. Although primarily self taught as a guitar maker, I am indebted to the many luthiers and guitarists who have given me advice, support and encouragement.