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William “Grit” Laskin, who makes guitars that look and sound out of this world, is a recipient of a 2012 Order of Canada, an annual award from the Canadian government honoring the country’s national treasures. He’s been honored in the past as the first instrument maker to receive the Saidye Bronfman award for excellence, and is world renowned for his art – and the sounds it produces. Guitarists (and guitar aficionados) have Laskin to thank for the built-in “Armrest” and “Ribrest” edge-beveling, and he co-originated the Sideport Soundhole.

Grit teaches regularly at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, and Marc owns one of his guitars (I’m angling to strum a few chords next time I’m in Franklin, Ind.). Christopher Schwarz has played it, and says it’s the best-sounding guitar, bar-none, that he’s ever had his hands on. That’s no surprise, because Laskin’s guitars are played by such recording artists as k.d. lang, Tom Chapin and Tom Cochrane, among many others.

Visit to read more about him, and to see more examples of his mind-blowing work.

Our congratulations to Laskin on his latest honor.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

p.s. Thanks to Mr. Laskin for the opening image, which he describes on his web site as: “This is my small body steel string, with an inlay that is part fantasy part reality, based around the history of watches and the groundbreaking Tourbillion mechanism.” And thanks to Marc Adams for the picture of Laskin teaching at MASW.

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