Julio Malarino

I was born in 1971 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My mother Liliana López was a teacher, and Jorge Malarino my father, in my youth, he was work. By helping him I had my initial contact with tools.

As the vast majority of families en Buenos Aires, we were greatly influenced by cultural traditions of European immigrants. Spaniards from my mother, Italian and German on my father’s side.

I chose the influence of my Italian side for their creativity, design, happiness, spontaneity, and their love for the good gastronomy. But it was absolutely impossible to avoid the German perfectionism and punctuality, moreover the tenacity and commitment from Spanish people.

As my family moved to Olivos (neighborhood that I still choose to live) in 1980, I spent my childhood in the streets playing soccer, climbing trees and riding bikes. Music and guitars enter into my life a few years later, when I started to play guitar and form a rock band with friends from the neighborhood, The first time that I encouraged myself to put hands on a guitar, was with my FAIM Les Paul, an Argentine reproduction of the Gibson. It was my first electric guitar and I played it for many years.

I finished high school in 1988 and I decided to study Graphic Design at the Buenos Aires University. There I studied and then I taught during ten years, in parallel I taught at The National University of the Arts. At that time, I was still playing guitar and guitar making was only a hobby that emerged from the need. In the 90´s most of luthiers still refused to accept trainees and even less to teach in my country. The first person who generously showed me a workshop was Axel Rudich, he was doing more repairs than building and was alternating his skills like guitar player and guitar maker. He was a real expert in electronics and over time he worked with Ken Parker, designing the electronics of the Adrian Belew Signature Fly. Sadly, he passed away in a car accident at a very early age. But certainly Axel was who planted the seed of guitarmaking curiosity on me. While spending time at his workshop, we used to speak a lot and I could saw him working in the period of time between I met him until he left to live in USA.

With Esteban Gonzalez I had more luck and more history, he showed me his workshop, he allowed me to see him work, he accepted me in his workshop sharing his knowledge and finally in 2002 we decided to join our forces at the educational project El Virutero. Esteban is a great luthier, who has done a lot for the artisans of my country, since among other things he was one of the founders of the Asociación Argentina de Luthiers.
Despite I consider myself a self-taught guitar maker because I did not have the chance to take classes, Axel and Esteban undoubtedly have been my teachers. I will be grateful for my whole life to both of them.

My initial workshop was a small eave, outside my house, without walls. All my tools used to fit in a small box. Before long, I moved it to the house´s garage which was connected to the kitchen, and little by little I advanced through until the space was completely invaded. At that moment, I could build a nice place for work in the back of the house (and I went back to eating without sawdust!), and I was working there for many years until I Installed it definitively in my current workshop in 2012, in Malaver street, always in Olivos.

The workshop is at home, I work with my wife, with my family. I do –all day- what I like best and what I do better. I do not work, I play in my workshop, truly enjoy a lot and live off that!

I invest all my earns in my workshop, tools, machines, raw materials, technology and training. Thanks to this, I could achieve a large and well-equipped beautiful place to work, and I try to keep improving it every day.

But when I could see that most of the tools were too often without use, that I couldn’t use more than one chisel each time, plus I saw that my machines more time power off than on, and on the other hand I had been seeing some students with the inability to get a place like mine, at that moment, I decided to learn to work in a team, to build up a partnerships with colleagues and students, I moved El Virutero to my workshop and created Malarino Guitars that includes: Malarino Luthier, El Virutero, Malarino Repair Shop, and Malarino & Co.