John Ressler is a former dairy farmer, brick mason, and Bible college graduate who is currently a master stair builder and has an unquenchable obsession with guitars and other stringed instruments. A partner at Designed Stairs, he has designed and built high end luxury stairs for 30 years in the Chicago area. When not building stairs, John tends his apple orchard, mows grass, and builds high end guitars for many talented musicians. John has taught this fine art to nearly 300 first time instrument builders. He is the author of the book Pickin’ Stick: Building a Stringed Instrument. He resides in Sandwich, Illinois with his wife Roberta, who is also an avid supporter of all the above activities.

Workshops with John

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A special note about our photos:

We have taken HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of photos over the years of our students, instructors, and staff — during classes, after classes, and at various gatherings. Throughout this brochure and on our website, you will see many photos that were taken prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Images of people without masks or not practicing social distancing were taken before the pandemic and before the safety practices were implemented. Please rest assured, we follow all of the safety precautions and guidelines mandated by our local and state health officials. Community means everything to us —we aim to provide a safe environment for all who teach and learn at MASW. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our practices, or would like more detailed information about the school’s health and safety guidelines, please do not hesitate to call or email us!