Welcome to my Workshop
I have been making custom instruments of my own design as well as those of Sam Rizzetta's design for thirty years, and they reflect the long time of building and research we have done together. They are designed to meet the needs of the most demanding player.
I no longer make very basic instruments, as my time is taken up by more complex, larger instruments and there are a wide variety of basic instruments on the market. You can find links to some of these on my Links of Interest page, along with information and answers to all of your questions; especially on buying instruments, finding a teacher, festivals, concerts and other events. I can't keep this list constantly updated; but I will try to make changes as I can.
I don't have a retail store, but have demo models of most of my designs. If you are interested in visiting the workshop to try the instruments, you're welcome to visit by appointment.
My time is mostly spent building, in order to keep customers content, but I'll be glad to answer specific questions about my instruments as quickly as I can, and other questions eventually. I do repairs on my own, and Sam's instruments, as I can fit them into the schedule. You can also read my Newsletter for more information.
A good place to see a lot of the instruments I have built over the years is at the Upper Potomac Dulcimer Fest, a festival held in Shepherdstown, WV in March - and more recently, the Spring Music Weekend, Fiddle Retreat and other special events.
Sam Rizzetta RIP
Sam Rizzetta succumbed to late-diagnosed ANK Leukemia on Oct 28, an untreatable disease. For the more than four decades that I knew him Sam was an encouraging teacher, imaginative designer, blunt critic, fishing companion and dear, dear friend. Forever in my mind, Sam will always be coming by the shop to show or hear something new, or I will be stopping by his to do the same. But with hundreds of miles of streams, river and lakes paddled, wilderness hiked, untold numbers of fish caught, tunes composed, instruments designed, sessions played, students taught, Sam used his time well, and departs this world the wealthiest of humans.
In Westminster Cathedral the epitaph of the architect Sir Christopher Wren reads “If you would seek his monument, look around you”. If you would seek Sam Rizzetta’s monument, next time you see almost any modern hammered dulcimer being played: go have a listen.