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Mark Franzke, artist and luthier, built his first mandolin in 1978 while a Fine Arts student at the University of Kansas. After graduation, Mark began a career in graphic design and illustration, creating some highly detailed airbrushed illustrations. He also continued developing his woodworking skills, building a few banjos and a mandolin.

In 2005, Mark decided to focus more seriously on mandolin building under the name "Flinthills Mandolins." After several requests from customers for mandolins with Mark's signature in place of the Flinthills logo, Mark decided to replace the Flinthills name with "Franzke" to emphasize that each instrument is hand crafted by an individual luthier, not mass produced in a factory setting. The same quality and workmanship that went into creating the Flinthills mandolins is still present in the Franzke mandolins. Only the logo is different.

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Using traditional carving and graduating methods, Mark tap tunes each mandolin so that its full, rich tone becomes warmer and "woodier" as it ages.

Each instrument is a unique artistic expression based on the whims of the artist and desires of the customer.

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