Ariel Rose Bodman
Luthier, Partner, INSTRUCTOR​

Nick began building guitars in 2005 while studying Sculpture at RISD. His art and design training inspired him to investigate the world of lutherie. "I was always making things and taking things apart as a kid. My parents are artists so the curiosity that grows from creativity was encouraged. My dad owned a Guild D-25, that guitar always fascinated me. Learning how to care for that guitar led me to investigate the function and maintenance of guitars at large. Building and repairing instruments is my way of being part of the creative cycle and process ; the artisan is moved by a piece of music and that feeds the creation or improvement of a creative tool. That creative tool is given to a musician who in turn is inspired to emote through that tool. I am so amazed by musicians, being able to amaze them back is a dream come true." Nick has worked with revered luthiers such as Ned Steinberger, Jason Lollar and Ian Schneller among others. 


Or make an appointment to stop by when we open again!

Contact & Visit!


In the heart of the historical Pump House of Wakefield, Rhode Island, we strive to create instruments that are as personal as the music they make. We offer guitar building classes, repair services, custom guitar builds, and lines of our own Shady Lea Guitars. 

Ariel was raised by professional violinists Amy Barlowe and Alan Bodman of Akron, Ohio. Through her upbringing, she has developed a profound respect for instrument makers and the music that is created from their intricate work. For most of her life she pursued performing opera, with a specialty in early music. She studied at a variety music programs including Tanglewood, Amherst and Juilliard. Her familiarity with early instruments inspired the design of many of her creations. Ariel's interest in ethnomusicology lead her to Shady Lea Guitars. Having studied with Dan Collins, she is now honoring her love of music by building and teaching to build stringed instruments at Shady Lea Guitars. She believes that an instrument should be as personal as the music it plays.

Check this out!

We're excited to announce that we've purchased the Pump House, a historical landmark in Wakefield, RI! Our classes are up and running once again, and so are our events! Join us on the last Saturday of each month for our monthly open mic/potluck! You can check out more great events happening almost every weekend by visiting our non-profit's web page,

Nick Holcomb
Luthier, Repair technician, INSTRUCTOR​

Dan has studied art forms such as photography at Hallmark Institute, painting at Pont Aven School of Art, and pottery at Salve Regina. Since discovering lutherie in 2001, Dan has channeled his variety of artistic experience toward stringed instrument making. He has found lutherie to be the ultimate form of functional art. "An instrument's beauty is not only in its form but also in the voice it lends to its player." As the founder, owner and operator of Shady Lea Guitars, Dan has spent the last seven years at Shady Lea Guitars building instruments, teaching, and expanding his company.

"Coming Home"

an original piece by victor main played on a shady lea guitar model O.F. 

Audio Recording: Rich Ferri
Video: Sky Sabin & Rich Ferri

​We've Moved!

The Team

WELCOME TO Shady Lea Guitars

Dan Collins
Luthier, Founder, Partner, Instructor​

"Building Community, One guitar at a time!"