K2 Acoustic Guitars is a steel string guitar company based in Golden, Colorado. K2 specializes in hand-made orchestra model (OM) guitars. The Luthier is Karen Kemerling, hence the initials K2. Karen’s detailed craftsmanship is generated through self expression and experimentation, and she has formally studied guitar building through the Luthier program run at Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) in Lakewood, Colorado. Where she assisted head Luthier, Robert O’Brien at RRCC, in teaching students the art of guitar building.
Robert O’Brien is a classically trained guitarist and woodworker, who started building guitars in Brazil (1997) under the tooling of Antonio Tessarin, one of the best and most highly regarded luthiers among Brazilian guitar makers. Karen has also studied steel string guitar building and repair with world renowned Luthiers, Kent Everett from Atlanta Georgia and Colorado Luthier Edward Victor Dick, the creator of the banjola and Victor Guitars. She is an active member of the Colorado Luthiers Association and Guild of American Luthiers.
Karen’s guitars have a small (OM style) body with a big heart! The tone is balanced and notes are crisp with a hint of more bass, which is less common in small bodied steel string guitars. Each guitar built is unique, in that the owner picks out the species of wood for each major part of the guitar with guidance from Karen, based on the player’s style and needs.
“It’s an amazing process. I loved learning about the wood and then picking it out, plus seeing the guitar take shape along the way is very exciting. I couldn’t wait to get it. Playing it is pure joy!” says customer Joanne Taylor.
Each part of the guitar is hand crafted, and the customer receives progress photos of their guitar as it is being built. See the Guitar section of the website for the details on options and customization.