Kari Hahn (klath guitars) did not intend to become a luthier. However, early in the process of building her first two guitars (started on a whim) she realized she’d found her calling. Her woodworking career began in Nome, Alaska at age six when she started making herself toys in her father’s shop. Tellingly, the first was a miniature record player. She began playing music shortly afterward, starting on piano and in high school adding trumpet, vibes, and marimba. She also got her introduction to playing guitar, which had always been her favorite instrument to listen to.
Kari began building houses in Jr. High, and thanks to a well-placed architecture course, this led her to minor in fine art at Lewis and Clark College. After school (and a bit of backpacking) she began working with Carl Dean building African-style marimbas. Here she built her first guitars and was introduced to the extensive network of skilled luthiers in the Portland area. While she can’t claim to be the student of any single person, she does count many wonderful people among her teachers, as well as a lot of books, music, and every experience she’s ever had.
Currently, Kari divides her time between building Carl’s Marimbas, repairing instruments out of Troubadour Music in Corvallis, working on her own creations, and the occasional hike, drink, concert, or adventure with her friends and family.
Pictures ©2009 Kari Hahn
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