Alumni Spotlight: Luke Criddle, Luthier
Bachelor of Fine Arts – 3D Studio Art, 2016
CURRENT JOB: Luthier (Guitar Builder) at Gibson Custom
QUESTION: What is your area of specialization? And what is your favorite type of work?
LUKE CRIDDLE: I specialize in all things wooden with a sprinkling of metalworking and electronics. I find inspiration mainly in history—instruments of the past, furniture fads, and the evolution of the tools used to create these things. For some reason, the design of practical things has always peaked my interest.
Q: What types of jobs have you held in the past?
LC: I have worked in all types of shop environments, and wound up finding a love for woodworking. After a few rounds of thinking, I linked my passion for music with woodworking through guitar building. I was very fortunate to find a job doing exactly that during my time at Georgia Southern with Pladd Dot Music in Statesboro. I learned how to be a luthier with them and treated the four years I worked there as an extended internship.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
LC: The knowledge that what I make allows creators of music to express themselves and spreads smiles all around. I’m usually listening to guitar based music while building. I like to think about the fact that the guitar I’m hearing was built by some one like me, also more than likely a lover of music. That person was probably listening to music while building too, and the instruments they were hearing were also built by someone who was also listening to music while building, and those instruments were … It’s a seemingly endless cycle that may or may not be linked directly to the beginning of humanity (well, to the beginning of recorded music at least).
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
LC: In ten years time, I plan to be well underway with my own business. Until then, I will continue to save up and learn about various woodworking techniques. At this point, it’s a toss up between having a custom guitar shop and furniture. But, I’ve got time to figure out things like that.
Q: Any continued education, grad school, etc?
LC: At this point I am not enrolled in any programs, but plan on pursuing business certifications to aid in starting my own.
Q: If there was one thing you wish you knew before you graduated, what would it be?
LC: Keep your scholarships … turns out that they actually want you to pay back those student loans. Who knew?
Q: How has your major helped you in your professional career?
LC: My sculpture and metal-smithing classes allowed me to explore and hone skills that have helped me a great deal so far.
Q: What was your most memorable moment/experience with the BFSDoArt?
LC: Standing back and looking at the spread of wooden and metal sculptures after my senior show was set up was surreal. I stood there for about ten minutes and reflected on all the moments that led to the show’s completion and was completely in awe over how far I had come, all of the skills I had picked up, and how far I still had to go.
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell us, your peers, and/or future students?
LC: Find out what your favorite things happen to be and make a career out of that! I can’t imagine doing something that I didn’t love day in and day out; it just wouldn’t be worth it. I really don’t wish that for anyone.