photo by Stephen Ironside
Aviva Pilgrim (formerly Steigmeyer) lives in the Ozark mountains near Fayetteville, Arkansas, and is inspired by rural American folk arts of the early 20th century. After years of tinkering with instrument repair Aviva traveled to Madison, Wisconsin for an intensive apprenticeship in guitar building with Todd Cambio of Fraulini Guitar Company. In 2013, Aviva started building her own guitars under the name Preservation Guitar Company. Her focus is on small-bodied guitars built with American hardwoods and she draws on aesthetics and building techniques from 1920s-era parlor guitars.
Aviva also plays guitar and sings with the old-time string band "The Ozark Highballers" and spends time gardening and printmaking. Her work reflects an appreciation of the simple and the traditional while also exercising the freedom of individual creation and the beauty of imperfection.