About John S. Kinnard
John S. Kinnard
Photo Courtesy of Robert Scheid
John S. Kinnard is the Master Luthier and General Partner of Dell' Arte Instruments.
John grew up in the sixties in San Diego's north county, and at that time, California was an especially
fertile environment for those with a creative spirit. As a young man, John began playing the guitar, writing his own songs, and
he often hitchhicked up and down the West coast with a guitar on his back and little change in his pockets. It was during this time that
John also first began building stringed instruments.
Later in the seventies, John and his then business partner, Peter Webster, owned Heritage Guitar Works,
located in Clovis, CA. While there, John began restoring vintage stringed instruments.
John 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 his quest of more artistic freedom, John opened a small shop in 1996 under
the name of Finegold Guitars and Mandolins where he produced Guitars under both the Finegold Guitar Label as well as his own, John S. Kinnard Label.
|In 1998, John met Alain Cola, who at the time, was producing Selmer/Maccaferri guitars and other instruments
manufactured in Mexico under the Dell' Arte Instruments brand. Alain, in need of better workmanship for his
guitars, and a more solid base for his business, created a partnership with John Kinnard where by they joined forces in October of 1998 and began
operating solely under the Dell' Arte Instruments brand. They quickly attracted an international following and today, Dell' Arte is well known
as one of the premier manufacturers of Gypsy Jazz guitars.
Alain Cola & John S. Kinnard
Photo Courtesy of Dell' Arte Instruments
From October 1998 to December 2006, Dell' Arte instruments were manufactured in Santee, California, U.S.A. with all Mexican
manufacturing stopped as of May of 1999.
In early 2007, John opened his own production facility in Fallbrook, California where he continues
to produce the Dell 'Arte brand guitars along with his own John S. Kinnard Instruments brand.
View Guitars for Sale.