Meet Our Artisans

Mac Traynham

Mac's Custom Cabinetry, Banjos & More

Mac Traynham of Floyd County became interested in handmade instruments in 1975 when he commissioned a friend build him a Gibson RB-100 copy on which to play a three finger style of Bluegrass and other experimental music . He became even more interested after commissioning Wayne Henderson to build him a Martin D-28 style guitar in 1976. Being attracted to beautiful woods and a serious player of Southwest Virginia style clawhammer banjo music, Mac built his first banjo in 1978 using recycled birdseye maple flooring that had been previously made into a door. During the late 70's and early 80's, he continued to make banjos and was part of an instrument makers seminar at the 1981 National Folk Festival. Being interested in all aspects of instrument making and playing, he visited the shops of and got tips from many of the area's renown instrument makers including Olen Gardner, Kyle Creed, Arthur Conner, Albert Hash, and Wayne Henderson. Over the years, he has experimented with classic tone designs and today is known for making beautiful banjos that have a superior tone. He most recently was a master banjo maker in the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities' 2009 Apprenticeship program. He has been a professional custom cabinet maker since 1987. He prefers to use local woods in a blend of traditional Shaker and modern European styles. Mac's latest interest in raising grass-finished beef has resulted in a barter for 6 cow-calf pairs to be rotationally grazed on his grassland in Floyd County.