William “Grit” Laskin is the first musical instrument maker to receive Canada’s most prestigious national craft award, the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence. He is the originator of the built-in “Armrest” and “Ribrest” edge beveling, a founder of the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (ASIA) and author of the first code of ethics for the luthier’s trade.
Laskin decided he wanted to be a guitar maker at age 17 when he saw a Jean Larrivee instrument. He apprenticed with Jean for two years before setting out on his own. He has been building guitars since 1971. His goal for his guitars is “clarity, sweetness of tone, and a full, round musicality.” Laskin is also known for his intricate inlay work. Larry Robinson, author of The Art Of Inlay, calls Laskin “the most astonishing inlay artist in North America.”