Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 66 Fifth Avenue
FREE, no tickets required
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The Life of a Luthier: How visibility can create the next generation of guitar builders. Local repair women and luthiers Rachel Rosenkrantz, Mamie Minchand and Chloe Swantner discuss their experiences in starting, maintaining and inspiring the humble career of guitar building. Moderated by Fabi Reyna, founder and editor-in-chief of She Shreds Magazine


Hosted by the Center for Transformative Media at The New School, with Mannes College of Music


About Rachel Rosenkrantz:

Rachel Rosenkrantz is a French luthier who owns a Providence-based business, Atelier Rosenkrantz. She designs and hand-builds acoustic guitars and fine stringed instruments. Her one-of-a-kind instruments are high-quality, handmade, unique designs tailored to the playing of each customer. Rachel relentlessly seeks equilibrium between form and function, choosing to never sacrifice one for the other. Her design background is driven by innovation, having been taught at Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Graphiques Penninghen in Paris. Traditional woodworking is also a vital part of her practice, which has grown out of an"old school" apprenticeship training.

Born and raised in Paris, France, Rachel was exposed to both fine arts and applied arts. Her understanding of construction through her design years as well as her knowledge of music are two strong assets forming a stable backbone to her actual art making of string instruments. Some of her previous artwork was shown in exhibits at Le Carousel du Louvre, at Le Musée d’Art Contemporain du Palais de Tokyo, Paris France, at the Hangaram museum of modern art, Seoul Korea.  Just like her music, Rachel works her luthiery by exploring the combination of both traditional and new styles and techniques and tries to bring a unique perspective to her work. 

When not behind her workbench, Rachel teaches Spatial Dynamics at the Rhode Island School of Design in the Experimental and Foundation Studies division. Rachel is also an active bassist.


About Mamie Minch (of Brooklyn Lutherie):

Attracted to old guitars—her first love was playing them. Mamie's career as a blues guitarist led her to find out as much as she could about repairing and maintaining instruments. She worked at Retrofret Guitars for six years, four of them as Head of Repair. While she was there, Mamie worked on instruments for musicians and characters as well known as Jack White, Bill Frisell, and Walter Becker, but she still finds her work most personally fulfilling when working for local musicians whose names are a bit less recognisable. Her background as an artisan is in fine art printmaking, and she finds that her attention to small detail and strong client communication dovetails well with her personal relationship with guitars to give her a holistic approach to diagnosing and fixing them.


About Chloe Swantner  (of Brooklyn Lutherie):

Chloe Swantner entered the world of lutherie by training with violin maker Thurmond Knight at the Vermont School of Violin Making for the year of 2008. Under his guidance she learned the process of constructing violin family instruments as well as a variety of repair and restoration skills. Through her work during the past four years as a repair technician at Retrofret Guitars, and previously at David Gage and Jalopy Theater and School of Music she has further garnished her arsenal of repair knowledge; branching out from the violin family to archtop guitars, mandolins and beyond. Drawing from these experiences, Chloe brings a uniquely fine hand and discerning eye to the full scope of instruments that make it to her bench. Her latest commission in the works is a sitka spruce and bigleaf maple 151/2" Gasparo da Salo style viola for local jazz violinist Charlie Burnham.


Fabi Reyna (moderator): 

Fabi Reyna is a Mexican born, Texas raised guitarist as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of She Shreds Magazine—the world's first and only print publication dedicated to women guitarists and bassists. At 25 years old Reyna has built what was a small Portland based zine into a media company with a print circulation of over 40k distributed in 28 countries, a dedicated digital presence with over 100k monthly website visitors, as well as an events and creative agency. Outlets such as, Bitch media, Fender, New York Magazine, Stereogum, and many more have praised the editor for her passionate work to create an inclusive community within the guitar industry that transcends the boundaries of gender and genre—supporting radicalism, respect and revolution.


She Shreds Magazine Mission Statement:

She Shreds Magazine is the world’s only print publication dedicated to women guitarists and bassists. We strive to change the way women are depicted and presented in the music industry and popular culture by creating a platform where people can listen, see and experience what it means to be a woman who shreds. Our goal is to transcend boundaries like gender and genre—supporting radicalism, respect and revolution.