Kinkade Guitars

About Us

Our Philosophy

Since 1976 when Jonny produced his first guitar, he has held onto his original aspirations:

Working in the Kinkade workshop(Photography by Joby Sessions. Copyright Future Publishing)

Jonny always endeavours to ensure that the finished product surpasses all expectations. Over the many years Jonny has refined a very special skill of translating the sound the musician holds in their head. Most notably of all, Kinkade guitars become imbued with the character and soul of both their creator and their player, which is exactly why Jonny’s customers return for their next guitar, again and again.

The Luthier

Up close with Jonny(Photography by Joby Sessions. Copyright Future Publishing)

Guitars have always been Jonny Kinkead’s passion. Having made his first ever guitar at the age of 16 and his first professional guitar in 1976, he still delights in the craft of luthiery.

He originally trained in architecture at Kingston Polytechnic, which enabled him to develop the precision and aesthetic eye for detail required of a successful master craftsman. All Kinkade guitars are COMPLETELY hand made, the majority being made to order.

Jonny always works in close liaison with every customer, advising his clients on the many custom options available, including timber choice, ornamentation and tonal considerations.

The Westbury Deluxe and Jonny(Photography by Joby Sessions. Copyright Future Publishing)

The Kinkade range includes several sizes of steel string acoustic guitars including parlour size through to dreadnought , as well as acoustic bass, hand-carved archtop jazz and fine electro-acoustic guitars. Kinkade guitars are named after districts of the beautiful maritime city of Bristol, England and quaint surrounding villages, identifying the specific body shape and size. All standard models can be totally personalised, according to given customers’ preferences and desired timber combinations. A rare opportunity these days.

Jonny’s Thoughts

Whilst making my guitars, I often look at the planks of wood I am using, and wonder whether the young saplings knew what journey lay ahead of them as they grew into mature trees. They probably thought they would eventually die and decay, continuing the eco system of the forest they originally inhabited. Instead the ‘spirit’ of the tree is transported half way around the world and brought into my workshop.

Carving Bracing(Photography by Joby Sessions. Copyright Future Publishing)

As a luthier, I invest a great deal of love, attention and dedication upon these timbers, propelling them on another journey they could never have imagined.

My time is spent cherishing this material into a new life, the birth of a unique instrument Finally when the whole production process is completed, the wood continues yet another stage of its journey, developing a brand new relationship with a musician who has been eagerly awaiting its arrival. (Who knows what great works of art will develop from this new ‘liaison’.) Most musicians begin this love affair by commissioning their instrument, watching it take shape, having carefully chosen those certain characteristics that will produce THE sound they yearn for in their head. As a Luthier I am in effect the ‘surrogate father to these babies’. I set about making their dreams a reality. Some of my methods may appear unscientific but rest assured they are the product of years of hands-on experience and craftsman’s intuition. Guitar making is a highly complicated process that continues to provide a life time’s satisfaction, keeping the brain fully occupied and the hands working.

Items around the workshop(Photography by Joby Sessions. Copyright Future Publishing)

Guitar making has remained my passion for three decades as a ‘labour of love’ and indeed my ‘life-blood’.

A life’s work:
Now documented

After 30 years, I decided it was time to record my thoughts and philosophies on the art and craft of luthiery for prosperity and have written a book called: “Build Your Own Acoustic Guitar”. I was ably assisted by my beautiful and talented wife Carol Campbell (better not forget her or I’ll be in trouble!!!!!!!!!).

Westbury Mold(Photography by Joby Sessions. Copyright Future Publishing)

As well as being a detailed insight into one person’s craftsmanship, showing in close-up my obsession for perfection and detail; it is also a beautifully photographed display of many of my creations. It is published in USA by Hal Leonard and in UK by Batsford. You can find more information in our book section.

During the past ten years, I’ve enjoyed increasing success as a watercolour artist and have held several successful exhibitions in the South West of England. Having been inspired by the strange shaped guitars painted by Cubist masters, I designed a Cubist guitar based on Braque’s painting ‘Bottle of Marc’, which combined the worlds of art and music.

The Workshop