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

Contact & Visit!

"Building Community, One guitar at a time!"

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. 

​Get Pumped!

The Team

WELCOME TO Shady Lea Guitars


Check this out!

Dan Collins
Luthier, Founder, Instructor​ 


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

At the end of 2016, we decided to make the big jump and move from the Shady Lea Mill to the Pump House, a historical landmark in Peace Dale, RI! Our classes continue as before, and we've taken our events to a whole new level! Join us on the last Saturday of each month for our monthly open mic/potluck! You can check out more great events happening every weekend by visiting our non-profit's web page,

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.