Young luthier produces guitars for musicians worldwide
Şekerli, 33, who got his academic education on instrument making due to his passion for art, opened his first workshop in Istanbul’s Kurtuluş neighborhood after graduating from the Istanbul Technical University (ITU).
The guitar maker, who worked in his workshop in Istanbul for a while and later decided to go abroad to improve his knowledge, returned home after studying in Germany and Canada.
Şekerli moved to Ulaşlı, which is a quiet seaside town in Kocaeli’s Gölcük district, 11 years ago to focus on his work. He designs handmade guitars for musicians from different parts of the world, especially European countries, in the workshop he established on the lower floor of his house.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Şekerli said that he has been living a life intertwined with art since his childhood, so he decided to take his academic education in this field.
Noting that he entered the guitar making sector in 2003 when he won the ITU State Conservatory Instrument Making Department, Şekerli said that his life was filled with trees and music when he started school. He noted that he had also worked in the workshops of many masters.
Noting that he opened his first workshop in Istanbul after finishing school, he said: “I continued my studies there, and after a while, I went abroad. I took training and worked in this field in Germany and Canada. Then I came back to my country. After working in different places in Istanbul, I had the idea of moving to a quiet and calm place to produce guitar rather than fixing it. This is how I came to Ulaşlı. I have been in Ulaşlı for 11 years. Being in touch with nature has a positive contribution to my guitar production.”
Talking about his workshop that it covers an area of 100 square meters, Şekerli said: “There is a section here where I do hand-work. Here I carry out the process of structuring guitars. If you do this job, you need to have a lot of machines. You have to know carpentry because guitar making is the ultimate carpentry. The workshop is enough for me for now, but I want to develop a workspace and production line.”
[HH] More than 200 guitars produced
Noting that he mainly makes flamenco and classical guitars, Şekerli said: “There are no big differences in theory anyway. Flamenco is a musical style and a common music genre in Spain. In classical music, the guitar is an instrument that is widely used. I also produce Turkish musical instruments, but the main production is guitar.”
Stating that many instruments can be made in the workshop, he said: “I have made over 200 instruments in my workshop so far. All of these are custom designed and have gone into the hands of many valuable musicians. They are not suitable for amateur musicians both in terms of price range and need.”
“I work for professional people who make a living as a guitar player. This provided me with a certain customer portfolio both from Turkey and from different parts of the world. I currently have customers in European countries and the U.S.,” he added.
Pointing out that he generally uses tropical climate trees and therefore he sometimes has difficulties to get tree supply, Şekerli said: “I have a lot of memories of finding and buying good trees. I once spent 10 days in the Black Sea province of Artvin’s Borçka district with foresters. I even got infested with lice, but I bought the trees I was looking for.”
“The Borçka spruce we use in the soundboard is one of the best quality spruces in the world. In Istanbul, I bought a piece of Honduran mahogany, begging from a Greek uncle. When I find the good tree, I somehow struggle and try to get it,” he added.
Expressing his joy that lots of famous musicians play the guitars made by him, Şekerli said, “I am proud of the fact that those people make music with my guitars.”