Mike Sankey


Ottawa, Canada



I've been building and repairing guitars for 17 years. Each one is crafted individually, slowly, by hand. I give my instruments names, not serial numbers, because every one is unique. I like to maintain a modern and functionalist aesthetic, showcasing the natural beauty of local woods. Hopefully you'll enjoy them too!




Closing time

On July 22nd, the Ottawa Folklore Centre declared bankruptcy and closed its doors for good. It has been an institution I had known all my life- in fact we were both born in the summer of 1977. When I was starting out as a luthier it was pretty much the only place in the city where one could see a real, handmade guitar, hung so high up in the tiny Bronson Street storefront that I would have to ask the staff to get a stepstool to reach one. They always obliged. In the back, mysterious sounds would emerge where they worked magic to rescuscitate old acoustic guitars.

Later, when they had moved to bigger digs on Bank Street, I worked up the courage to ask them to sell my first guitars on a consignment basis; they consented, barely. But the real value was in their mentorship, helping me to understand what I would have to do to make a real living at this difficult craft, and introducing me to other members of our little music community. This was invaluable help on my way to becoming a real professional guitarbuilder.

Sadly, it couldn't last forever. I even had a guitar hanging on their walls for sale (on consignment, of course- a folk-music establishment was never going to have much cash around) when I heard the news. I've got it back though: Cherrybomb. As far as I know there was no one major culprit to their closing, just a combinations of different market forces pressing and pressing until it just didn't make any since to go on. I don't think there will be another place quite like it ever again.


2015 Ottawa Guitar Show

For the fourth year running I am organizing and exhibiting at the Ottawa Guitar Show. It will be taking place this fathers' day at the beautiful and historic Glebe Community Centre. Featuring handcrafted guitars by over thirty of the best luthiers working today, if you're a guitar player (or even just a fan) you won't want to miss this. It's a chance to play some great guitars, talk shop with some amazing artisans, and take in some fine performances at our demonstration concerts. I sincerely hope to see you there!


New Guitar: "Burly"

A key factor in creating a comfortable guitar is the weight. I couldn't get much lighter than this little beauty with a small body of featherweight California Redwood burl, and hardware made mostly of aluminum. Clic on the pic to learn more...


New Guitar: "Magmatic"

My latest ergonomic guitar; semi-hollow body, seven strings, Cocobolo top. This could be the ultimate jazz/fusion machine. Clic on the pic to learn more...


Anglo-Saxon Lyre

Sonic archaeology again: This is my interpretation of the ancient lyre of northern europe. Played widely for thousands of years, it was somehow forgotten by the time of the renaissance. Using medieval manuscripts as well as artifacts from archeological excavations, we are learning more and more about these amazing instruments, and about the people who played them. Clic on the pic to learn more...