Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 150
By Ward Meeker
s a high-school student in Houston, Stephen Marchione developed
a six-hour-a-day habit practicing guitar, inspired by heroes like Jimi
Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, along with Texas bluesers like Stevie Ray,
Albert Collins, and Erich Avinger. For three years after, he studied music
performance at the University of Houston while playing in jazz ensembles,
and finally, earned a B.A. in music and Buddhism at Naropa University.
Then, he went to work not making music.
Born into a family with deep roots in the tradition of woodworking - some
of his hand tools were inherited from an uncle and a grandfather who were
cabinet makers in northern Italy - as a kid, Marchione spent considerable time
learning vital woodworking skills in the shop of a luthier in Bergamo. He also
became enthralled with violin and guitar makers in Milano and Cremona.
"Watching them work was a big deal for me, and for as long I can
remember, I've wanted to make stringed instruments," Marchione said.
"And the things I learned came in handy."
In 1990, he moved to New York City and hired on at Pensa-Suhr, where
he shaped guitar bodies by day and studied books about violin and guitar
making in the evening, intent on applying the techniques to his own designs.
After a year, he began making acoustics and mandolins at his home. In
'93, he opened a shop in Manhattan.
Now back in Houston, Marchione combines elements of various techniques in an ever-evolving pursuit of tone and playability. He has built
1312 Willard St.
Houston TX 77006
5 Mapleville Road Greenville, RI 02828