the Art guitar series

After falling in love with meticulous process of making an electric guitar I wondered... Why can't we make these interesting? This question birthed the idea, which started the train moving towards what you will see below. Enjoy.

 
Electric Guitar Build.jpg

Sea, air and land

I've made about two dozen electric guitars so far ( Oct. 2016 ) and each one gets a little better. Woodworking has always come easy to me. Anything having to do with wood was second nature. If I made a mistake on a project I could just carve this a little and shape that a little until it worked. 

Then I tried making a guitar with that mindset.... Needless to say the first few were failures. I learned that yes, my ability to shape wood was great but I need another skill. The skill to say between the lines. "Good lines make good woodwork" as my Dad always said and this was case in point. One little measurement out of 100 would render the guitar unplayable. That is a tough lesson to learn when all you've ever done is just make it work. 

Three guitars ago I had the idea to treat the guitar body like a canvas. Great idea I say to myself! But I'm no painter. So I started searching for an artist. The first three were disasters, the artists were either so afraid to ruin the guitar that they ruined it anyways or it came back with a paint job so far out in left field that it quietly went to eBay never to return. I lost hope in the idea and shelved the next 5 guitars. Then through a few friends in Minnesota I ran across a picture on Facebook of someone illustrating a children's book. It wasn't something you would necessarily connect with a electric guitar but it was very well done. Being interested, I reached out to the artist and met McCal Joy Johnson. I called her and we talked about the possibility of collaborating on a guitar. She was very interested and after a bit of cleanup work, one of the guitar bodies was on it's way North. A few weeks later a work of art returned. I now have the pressure to complete the build without a disaster of my own! More to come...

 

 If you would be interested in more of McCal's work click on either of the pictures below.

Lady of the mountain 

Awesome mixture of nature and geometric shapes.

Breakers 

I haven't figured out if those are mice in a boat or possums. I'll have to ask. 

Knives

Handmade knives have always been fascinating to me. Long before I ever tried to make one myself I realized that there was no way, based on the cost of materials and time spent, that compensation was possible. Knives would have to cost tens of thousands. So why would someone put that much work into one? My question was answered when one day my grandfather handed me an old file and said "why don't you try to make a knife out of this?" That first knife wasn't fantastic but it did the job. I was hooked. Every knife since has taken longer and has been more difficult as I try harder techniques and ideas. But I don't care, the love of knife-making is not easily lost, I am addicted to the pursuit of perfection.