When my great-grandfather, José Ramírez I, entered the workshop of his master, Francisco González, in the second half of the 19th century, the apprentices entered when they were still children and, according to custom, during their contract time they received food, clothing, clean clothes, bedding, shoes… and a lot of rough treatment from the journeymen. Gradually, many teachers began to give them a monetary contribution for their work.
I don’t know what the case of my great-grandfather was, but what I do know is that what he valued most was being able to learn that trade, and even more so from a master like the one he had.
José Ramírez I and Concepción González
During his apprenticeship, José Ramírez I coincided with Concepción González, his master’s daughter, who was also her daughter.
This is something I like to point out, as Concepción has my admiration for having followed such a unique profession, bearing in mind that the role of women did not fit into this profession, as in so many others at the time in which she lived.
The fact that my great-grandfather and Concepción shared a space in Francisco González’s workshop is something I treasure with a very special affection.
Francisco González: great builder, inventor and master guitar maker
Francisco González must have been an extraordinary character, and certainly a great builder. One of his guitars is on display at the Paris Conservatoire, and has been highly valued by those who have had the privilege of playing it and seeing it.
We also have one of his guitars in our collection and it is a beautiful and sober guitar that shows his mastery as a craftsman and connoisseur of this marvellous instrument.
Francisco González was not only a guitar maker, but also an inventor. He built a car that was operated by levers, and which worked very well on flat ground, but not uphill, which he considered a failure and it is said that this displeasure cost him his life.
Our guitar roots
I would have liked to have more information about the story of the man we recognise and admire as our master, the cornerstone of our lineage, from which our guitar roots originate and which, therefore, continue, forever, to nourish our evolution through five generations and with the hope of a sixth, who has just arrived in this world with who knows what destiny and with what purpose in life. Suddenly we know that he cries in LA, and that he puts his arms in the position of playing the guitar.
If he chooses our path, he will also be blessed by the experience of that master of ours who has also been with him since the 19th century. Quite a privilege.
1 Febrary 2023