Adelaide: Meaning "Noble, Nobility"
Adelaide is the Capital of south Australia and today is known for many wonderful things, such as the Adelaide Hills, where some of the finest grapes are harvested each year to produce very fine wine, for it's many churches, which are arguably architecturally some of the best in the world, for it's beautiful opal and it's Aboriginal culture. But, there is still more to Adelaide to boast about, and this is where we introduce you to Rob Clarke... a luthier who has been for many years hidden amongst all the goings on in Adelaide today, that he just about escaped the attention he so rightly deserves from the classical guitarists the world.
Adelaide is known for it's free spirited and free thinking people, people who love everything about nature and the human soul and Rob Clarke fits this description to the letter.
Rob has been involved in the classical guitar world for most of his life. As a luthier he made very few guitars. So what is it that allowed him to make such wonderful instruments in his short career as a concert classical guitar maker, well, we say it's a combination of the Adelaide qualities which we mentioned previously and also Rob's passion for and understanding of the classical guitar and it's voice, as well as his architectural skill set.
I recenlty asked Rob to tell me about his inspiration and as soon as he told me I understood it all. I knew instantly why Rob is one of the great guitar makers today and will be added to the list of Adelaide's offerings.
Here's how Rob described his inspiration in his words:
"It was 1960 that I first heard classical guitar. Segovia playing Bach. His tone haunting and inspiring me to this day. Then there was Julian Bream, playing with his typical richness on a variety of instruments and John Williams purity of sound with the Fletas. One of which I have been able to play as well as one of his earlier Smallmans. Then I showed one of my guitars to Maestro Pavel Steidl. Whereupon he played to me a good portion of Bach’s Chaconne in a one on one situation on my guitar. I floated home and resolved to focus on building quality instruments as consistently good as this one. Instruments that inspire players to perform at their best".
We encourage you to coem along and try Rob's wonderful guitars and discover for yourself what we already know...
On instruction from international classical guitarist Craig Ogden.
Rob Clarke (South Australia) Concert Classical Guitar.
Top: Western Red Cedar
Back: Tasmanian Blackwood
Sides: Tasmanian Blackwood
Rosette: Hand Crafted Inset
Tuners: Nicolo Alessi
Finish: Oil and Polyurethane Varnish
Sometimes I use words such as "beautiful" or "Stunning" or maybe even "wonderful" to describe the amazing concert guitars we receive from guitar makers across the globe. And I have to say, these are words which are said with sincerity and truth.
But now we have a guitar from Australian Luthier, Rob Clarke, and I have to tell you - I am lost for words, as the words above will not even do this guitar justice. I think single words will not do it, it needs statements such as "out of this world" or "from another galaxy"
Each guitar was crafted using the very finest grade woods and in particular mainly using the Tasmanian Blackwood - as many luthiers do in Australia. Rob built on the plans and inspiration of Herman Hauser and it clearly shows in this guitar.
This particular guitar is Rob's finest, according to him and many, as it was built with dedication to his wife Elizabeth and with respect to the Australian Artis Pro Hart who sadly passed away as this guitar was built in 2006.
The seven fan struts are very old, very fine grained Western Red Cedar, which has been carefully split to preserve the very fine growth rings.
Very high quality and attractive Nicolo Alessi tuning machines.
One may think that Rob is unknown but in fact he has just been hiding out enjoying his retirement and recently a new wave of interest has come in search of his wonderful concert guitars.
This is a guitar for keeps...
Rob Clarke (South Australia)
Rob Clarke playing this guitar after build in 2006.
Some more information about the luthier...
Craig Ogden delivering his guitar to us at Nugent Guitars.