Wayne Henderson (luthier)

Wayne in his shop

Wayne C. Henderson is an American guitar maker who specializes in the crafting of handmade, custom acoustic guitars. He also occasionally makes other stringed instruments, such as mandolins, banjos, and fiddles. He is based in Rugby, in Grayson County, Virginia where he was born on May 3, 1947.

Henderson's guitars are inspired by the great pre-World War II guitars of C.F. Martin & Company, and are hand-built in limited quantities; by October 2012, over five hundred Henderson guitars had been constructed.

In a 1995 White House ceremony, he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship[1] in recognition of his extraordinary instrument-making. The book Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument (2005) outlined the process by which Henderson built a guitar for Eric Clapton.[2] In 2008 he was the subject of an Appalshop documentary, From Wood to Singing Guitar.

Henderson also built guitars for Tommy Emmanuel, Doc Watson, Peter Rowan and Gillian Welch.[3]

Henderson is also a fingerstyle guitar player, and was influenced by his older cousin Estil C. Ball.[4]


  1. ^ http://arts.gov/honors/heritage/fellows/wayne-henderson
  2. ^ St. John, Allen (2005). Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-6635-8.
  3. ^ Allen St. John (October 2005). "Master Class - Guitar Builder Wayne Henderson: Steel String Theory in the Heart of Bluegrass Country". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
  4. ^ Frank Weston (March 14, 1997). "E.C. and Orna Ball". Musical Traditions. Retrieved December 9, 2009.

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