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A guitar is shaped like the body of a beautiful woman.  All sensuous curves and smooth ‘skin’.  Any wonder that they’re capable of making such seductive sounds.

I’m a lapsed classical guitarist.  For my teaching diploma I learnt classical guitar for a year. The joy of making that beautiful instrument create an equally beautiful sound was part of my daily practice during that year. A well played guitar still stops me in my tracks today.  So yes, I admit it, I was the person in the Barn at Montsalvat last Friday night, sitting in the chair nearest the stage, listening rapturously to classical guitarist Michael MacManus make his guitar sing.

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Others were blissing out over the fine array of hand made guitars on display.  There were 63 guitars in all, made from more than 20 different species of Australian tonewood.  Chair of the Board at Montsalvat, Morag Fraser, showed her delight with this exhibition by pointing out aspects of the skillful craftsmanship- some delicate inlay here or an unusual bridge there. She’s well qualified to comment. Last year she made her own guitar at Thomas Lloyd Guitars under the tutelage of its luthier Chris Wynne.

Chris and his business partner Fiona Mitchell, were responsible for putting together this unique exhibition. It showcased, the work of 25 luthiers trained at Thomas Lloyd Guitars. There were replicas of guitars from the seventeenth century to the the present day.  Styles included Fleta, Ramirez, Hauser & Torres, Gibson, and Ukelele guitars.

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Montsalvat CEO Rob Hauser and Chair of the Montsalvat Board Morag Fraser at the opening.

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Brend Bunte from Eltham with his own guitar.

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Michael MacManus (above) at the Opening.

The weekend culminated in a concert on Sunday evening featuring classical and acoustic guitar.  The exhibition and concert celebrated the community of craftspeople and performers who have been associated with Thomas Lloyd Guitars since its beginning ten years ago.

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Peter Boyd.

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Antoni Field and Dan McKay                                                                                                                           Photograph ©Kerry Cross

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Simon Watt

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Richard Jeffrey played a double neck guitar made by Chris Wynne.                                                    Photograph ©Kerry Cross

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Singer song writer Jenny Biddle rocked the crowd with a rousing rendition of  Billie Jean (pure MJ).

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Chris Wynne

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Fiona Mitchell

If you would like more information follow this link to the Thomas Lloyd Guitars website or follow them on Facebook.