My name is Chris Ensor. Guitars have been a part of my life from a very young age. I have enjoyed playing for many years. My journey into lutherie began in high school. I have always had a do-it-yourself sort of mentality. So when I didn’t see what I wanted on the guitar store shelves anymore, I figured I would just build a guitar myself. My very first experiment was extremely unplanned. I decided I could build an acoustic guitar in a weekend- not knowing anything about how they were constructed other than what my eyes could see. My materials were a 2×4 and some plywood. Let’s just say I made a pretty interesting clock.
For my next attempt, I decided to take a more educated approach to building. I read a book by Bob Benedetto a couple of times through and then took a stab at building a jumbo archtop guitar. When the dust had all settled, I had made just about every beginner mistake in the book. But I had also learned a lot, too.
From there, my building education took me to Canada. Taking a suggestion from my father, I enrolled in a guitar building course under master luthier Sergei de Jonge. The course taught building from raw materials all the way through finishing. I finally had a guitar I could be proud of. Sergei taught me how to build practically- without the use of CNCs. Most of the methods he taught implemented hand tool and simple jigs.
I came home from Canada with a fire burning inside me. I guess you could say I got bit by the lutherie bug. (And yes, it’s contagious.) I now build in my own climate controlled shop in Springfield, Missouri.
My purpose as a luthier is two fold: first, and most importantly, is to make a great sounding instrument. Second, is to make a beautiful instrument that uses all the amazing natural materials available to me.
Being a guitarist myself, I can relate to the needs of other players. I know that not everyone wants the same sound or feel to a guitar. Every piece of wood offers a different sound and each is unique. I don’t build cookie-cutter guitars. My instruments are meant to be tailored to your exact needs.
My personal design style is minimalistic beauty. You don’t have to say a lot to say what you mean. I believe in letting each element say exactly what it needs to with out shouting so loudly that it distracts from the overall piece. In other words, I try to keep my designs balanced.