Meet Your Maker // Alex McLure – Custom and Refurbished Guitars
What music are you listening to at the moment ?
I listen to a lot of heavy metal, as well as celtic guitar musicians like Stephen Wake. I dip between those sorts of moods during my days.
Recent discoveries would be ERRA, Of Mice and Men and Animals as Leaders. When I am working in the workshop I actually like to listen to movie or game soundtracks; The Lord Of the Rings or Skyrim soundtracks are my go-to in EOW.
What are you most excited about learning or developing on your luthier journey ?
I love spending time in workshops and even though I haven’t made my first guitar from scratch yet, I take a lot from just being in the environment. Carpentry is a skill I am really excited to grasp and then be able to bring what is in my head into the real world. I have had this discussion with the other makers at the Open Workshop, where I fall into my zen whilst working with wood.
I can’t wait to build my first telecaster body, finding some wood with a really unique grain and tone qualities and create a proper ‘eye-brow lifting’ piece.
What elements make your guitars distinctly Alex McLure ?
I want my guitars to make you close your eyes when you play. A hand-made look where absolute perfection isn’t the goal. To sound crisp and bright for musicians of a certain style or heavy and powerful for those of another. Sort of like my different moods for music I suppose.
Who would you love to make a guitar for ?
Firstly, I’d love to make a sweet bass guitar for my Dad, to encourage him to get back into playing!
The music department at my high school back up in the highlands, that would please me greatly, since I got to play so much there back in the day (thanks Mrs Shearon).
My teenage idol Angus Young the lead guitar player from AC/DC. One of the biggest names in the guitar world is Tim Henson right now. His style and skills are unbelievable, I would go total ‘fangirl’ to see him playing a guitar I had made.
What makers or creatives inspire you ?
A good friend of mine called Sandy, a blacksmith where I will occasionally go and lend an extra pair of hands. He makes some amazing hand-held to huge sized pieces. Watching him work is always amazing. Seeing him start the day with a few bits of steel and then end the day with an axe or a hammer or set of tongs then post them to the customer, I always find impressive.
Within the luthiery world, I follow way too many accounts on Instagram and Pintrest, but Ben McGinty who has Lighthouse Instruments in Glasgow makes incredibly beautiful guitars. I met him once and he was friendly and helpful to me (a stranger at the time) asking him some questions out of the blue.
What made you start using EOW ?
I was basically looking for somewhere in Edinburgh where I could hire tools, because I can’t purchase everything I need at the moment. I came across the EOW website and thought ‘holy s**t, this is EXACTLY what I need’. Bonus, it is a 25-minute walk from my flat, BONUS the Edinburgh tram now has a stop right outside.
So I phoned in, asked “whats the shtick?” and now it’s been pretty much a year, 3 finished guitars and I’m also doing a course in basic woodwork with EOW.
Every single person I have met within the building has been so welcoming, helpful, curious about my projects, sharing and insightful. It really is an incredible creative space. Pepper and River, the dogs, always make sure to keep an eye on me too which is comforting.
If someone is interested in commissioning a guitar, what is the best way for them to go about this?
Via my Instagram account would be the best way at the moment. I have set up an Etsy page last month, which I plan to use for the foreseeable future. You can also always send me an email at [email protected] .