phone: (206) 467 7990   fax: (206) 467 8288

about us

Gurian Instruments manufactures quality decorative inlay for the Musical Instrument, Furniture and Wood Craft Supply Industries. We specialize in manufacturing precision custom parts and tools for businesses worldwide.
Gurian Instruments, barge at the locks

company history

Gurian Instruments was incorporated in 1982, and focused originally on creating specialty tools, parts and decorative wood inlay for musical instrument makers. We have since expanded our production and methods to serve the needs of multiple industries including furniture makers, recreational products manufacturers, medicine, hobby products and marine instrumentation. Our staff of skilled craftspeople have expertise using a broad range of tools from old world technologies to the latest in CNC machining and Laser cutting. We look forward to crafting a solution for you.

about Michael

Michael Gurian, master luthierMichael Gurian is a major supplier of custom parts to guitar manufacturers worldwide and a builder of some of the most distinctive steel-strings to appear in a long time. Born in 1943, a Brooklynite of Armenian descent, he took lessons on various instruments and developed a fondness for wood. He later studied sculpture at Long Island University, took up classical guitar, and taught music in Roslyn, New York.

With his studio apartment for a workshop, Michael built his first guitar-a copy of a classical made by Victor Manuel Piniero, a student of Velasquez. In 1965 he moved to a three-room shop in Greenwich Village, and with two assistants began building classical instruments. Traditional steel-strings were added four years later, and Gurian introduced his own distinctive body shapes soon after that. The company moved to Bedford Street and then Grand Street, his crew of builders growing to 15. In 1971 he relocated in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, because of that state’s favorable business climate. Vintage retailer Matt Umanov encouraged him to build a cutaway, and he did. It became a regular member of the line. A terrible 1979 fire resulting from a boiler explosion destroyed not only all of Gurian’s guitars but also his tooling and machinery as well. After the half-million-dollar loss he rebuilt and grew, recovering with remarkable perseverance from a defeat that would have sent a lesser person back to guitar teaching for good. By late 1979 Gurian was employing over two dozen people and servicing nearly 200 dealers worldwide. Gurian’s background as an expert with old-fashioned techniques manifests itself in his instruments, whose unusually rounded bodies are most appealing. They combine classical appointments and modern interior construction; the tone is bright and strong.

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A Rare Bird: A portrait of luthier Michael Gurian from fretboardjournal on Vimeo.