In 1997, James began working at a local guitar store called Front Porch
Music in Valparaiso, Indiana. James
was offered to be trained in the repair department by the store's
luthier, Mark Dillon, a Roberto-Venn graduate. James learned the
stringed instrument repair trade and in the process his interest was
peaked in building guitars by seeing some of Mark's guitars that he had
built. The following year or so after, Front Porch added another
luthier to its staff, Greg Kent, another R.V. graduate.
helped James build his first and second acoustic guitar, letting James
use his workshop at home. After this experience, James continued in
his education in lutherie, the highlight being a class with Ervin
Somogyi on guitar top voicing. James continued to repair and build
guitars and in 2002 he left Front Porch Music to strike out on his own.
Currently, James is building guitars on a part-time basis, and is working full-time at Guitarworks at their 16th Ave. store as their guitar repair technician. James is an authorized warranty service technician for CF Martin, Taylor, and Fender.