In July, while in Colorado Springs teaching a course for the American Numismatic Association, I found time to visit the Ome factory in Boulder. I was accompanied by two good friends, John Ramsey and Don Bryant.

John owns the Original Folklore Center in Colorado Springs. This is one of the best acoustic instrument shops you’ll find anywhere, and John’s not only a nice guy but also a great craftsman. If you live in that part of the country and are in the market for a guitar, mandolin, or banjo, be sure to visit his shop; you’ll be glad you did.

Don is a wonderful banjo player who is best known for his work with Mac Wiseman during the 1950s. He also filled in for Earl Scruggs for a couple of months while Earl was unable to tour.

Tanya Ogsbury introduced us to Scott Murphy, Rich Sharples, and Gustavo Silva, who build the banjos. She then gave us the grand tour. It was a most enjoyable afternoon!


Tanya watches Don pick hot licks on an openback banjo.

 
New banjos on display in the showroom
Ome Banjo


A stack of resonators awaits finishing.
Ome Banjo


Don discusses construction techniques with Rich.
Ome Banjo


Necks in various stages of completion.
Ome Banjo


Some newly completed banjo pots.
Ome Banjo


Tanya shows John some unfinished parts.
Ome Banjo


This Bright Angel is nearly ready for shipping.
Ome Banjo


A few newly completed banjos in the storage room.
Ome Banjo


Scott works on a neck.
Ome Banjo


A view of the shop
Ome Banjo


Rich wonders, "where did I put those parts?"
Ome Banjo


John plays a new Magician.
Ome Banjo


Tanya points out a new banjo's features to Don (sitting) and John.


Gustavo and Scott at work in the shop.
Ome Banjo


John admires a fancy resonator.
Ome Banjo


Tanya keeps a watchful eye on us as we try out banjos in the showroom.


A closer shot of the resonator.
Ome Banjo


Tanya, John, and Don.
Ome Banjo


Tanya performs her favorite task -- writing up another order.


Tanya shows John and me a fancy resonator.
Ome Banjo


Don plays a new banjo.
Ome Banjo


These inlaid fretboards will go on Renaissance and Grand Artist banjos.


John and Don trade licks.
Ome Banjo


John plays a new Jubilee with wooden tone ring, 12" pot, and scroll peghead.

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