Ouessant baritone 7 strings
I have been going to meet Matthieu for several years to have him try a guitar, when the opportunity presents itself, and I have the pleasure of having convinced him, in 2016, for a 7-string Ouessant that you will see soon on stage, I hope!!
Frédéric Pons, known as Fred Kopo.
1981 – 1982 Apprenticeship with Master Boyer in Rennes – Quartet violin making
1982 – 1985 London College of Furniture – High Diploma “guitar making”
1986 – 1987 National Civil Service – Heritage restoration projects
I continue my learning independently by collecting advice from a few luthiers in the region, notably JM.Fouilleul, JC.Malherbe,
1988 Creation of the Kopo workshop,rue Descarte in Rennes
1992 - Move of the workshop to rue St Louis
1995- Creation of the Guitar'n ko Store
1998 - Move of the workshop to St Aubin d'A
2005 - sale of Guitare'n Ko to F. Charon
A little ecology… Regional woods used in the manufacturing of “Ouessant” and other acoustic guitars!
Convinced that the use of exotic woods such as mahogany, ebony or rosewood is more a tradition inherited from our colonial history than a choice truly based on objective criteria in terms of acoustic functioning,I have been looking for many years to find regional types of wood that can advantageously substitute for each other.to so-called classic species, from distant origins.
The ash for example has long been the preferred wood of carpenters or wheelwrights for the manufacture of all parts requiring great elasticity (wheels, spring leaves, arches, etc.). It is a wood whose mechanical properties favor the dynamics and stiffness that one can expect from a resonance box. It has been used for electric guitars or basses for a long time. Other regional woods such aswalnut, cherry, corm, cypress, and maple of course, can also be used for the back and sides.
For the soundboard, if an evolution in the material must take place, the research will rather be in a composite of different species possibly combined with composites. By experiment,spruce and cedar are not called into question in the manufacturing of the guitar and remain essential due to their woody structure, favoring acoustic transmission.
For so-called wear parts such as the fingerboard and the bridge, the choice is even more limited because high-density wood species are rarer in Europe.
However,the cormier (essence of our regions) corresponds to these criteria of hardness and stability since it was used to make tools (plane soles, handles, etc.). Having fallen into disuse among carpenters, this wood is today rarer and difficult to find.
The lime tree, used for the handles, was chosen for its weight and mechanical strength, its fairly low density is more than sufficient for the stability and lightness that is required of the handle, particularly when it is assembled in multiple plies.
As far as possible, once a species of wood has been selected, the Kopo workshop is committed to sourcing European or even French wood from a nearby sawmill. It goes without saying that wood suppliers are able to specify
the origin of extraction of the essences they sell.
Fred Pons - President of the Aplg
Ken Parker - a design genius
During multiple trade shows and exhibitions, I am fortunate to have crossed paths with some great contemporary luthiers, and among them Ken Parker!
In 2001 at Namm in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to meet him for the first time on the stand of Larry Fishman, then in 2008, at the Montreal show, where I discovered his new acoustic archtop guitars which impressed me even more than his previous instruments.
Our relationship evolves towards a certain complicity, where friendship takes precedence over the sharing of techniques and designs.
It was therefore with a master and friend that I went in the spring of 2009, to reside and work for a few eight weeks in “Parkerland”, and this complicity has not stopped since.
The main objective of the APLG is to promote the work of our luthiers and all artisans in the world of plucked strings, but is also open to musicians, or to people wishing to participate in the growth of this association aimed at spreading knowledge. - make French the instrument making and related accessories.