Bruce Potter is a self-taught luthier who has been building guitars since 1997.
His initial interest in guitar building began after falling in love with his 1995 Lowden O32. Since that time he made it his goal to reverse engineer what made guitars like Lowdens and Martins so tonally unique. After a full year completing his first guitar and for each of the the next 20+ guitars, an elaborate and comprehensive experiment began, refining his design with bracing modifications, thickness/weight of different parts, tuning of the soundboard and back, and various wood combinations.
Bruce used this knowledge, combined with his years teaching guitar building to students and a long journey as a guitar repairman, to develop his own jigs, techniques, bracing pattern and an "intuitional bias" for producing the sound and quality of the tone he heard in exceptional guitars.
Bruce has a Master's Degree in Botany and for 33 years taught Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Agricultural Science and Fine Woodworking in a small, rural high school in Mendocino Co. Part of his time as a teacher allowed him to create a class teaching students to build guitars from scratch from their own designs. For 21 years, students built well over 60 unique acoustic and electric instruments of all types and sizes (laytonvillehighguitars.com). This experience, building a variety of different styles and sizes of guitars, using different woods and the freedom to experiment with different design features, provided invaluable insight into the factors that shape a guitar's sound, and separate good guitars from truly exceptional ones.