Dell’Arte 1997 to present John S. Kinnard is half owner and master luthier at Dell’ Arte Instruments. He grew up in San Diego’s north county during the sixies. California in that era was an especially fertile environment for those with a creative spirit. It was during that time that John first began building stringed instruments.

Later in the seventies, John and his then business partner, Peter Webster (now owner of a music store in Calif.), owned Heritage Guitar Works, located in Clovis, CA. While there, he also learned how to restore vintage stringed instruments.

He took a sabbatical from guitar making & repairs during the late 1980’s and became involved in the jewelry business. John credits that time spent fabricating jewelry and cutting precious stones as helping to further hone his guitar making skills.

For a period of 4 years in the early 1990’s, John went to work for Taylor Guitars. applying his knowledge and skills in the body department. In 1996, in quest of more artistic freedom, John opened a small shop under the name of Finegold Guitars and Mandolins.

In 1998, John met Alain Cola, a Frenchman living in the U.S. for twenty years. Alain, a long time jazz guitarist (in the style of the Hot Club of France) with a lifetime passion for Selmer/Maccaferri type guitars, was dealing in tone woods and musical instrument parts. Under the Dell’ Arte Instruments brand, Alain had copies of Selmer/Maccaferri guitars and other instruments made in Mexico. Expanding his clientele of musical instruments dealers all over the world, Alain found himself in need of better workmanship for his guitars, and a more soldi base for his business. Alaoin & John began to talk about a partnership. In October 1998, Findgold Guitars and Mandolins and Dell’ Arte Instruments merged. As of May 1999 all production of Mexican made instruments was stopped.

Nowadays, Dell’ Arte Instruments offers a full array of stringed muscial instruments finely handcrafted in our shop with the best materials. [Source including photo of 2007 Pigalle guitar below: Lamberto Sanna, email, 13 May 2015]


Images Hope Street Music Emporium:Dell'Arte guitar label San Diego California