Friday, July 16, 2010

Pictures courtesy of David Wren!

Thanks David for the cool pix and please notice that there are no butts or ashes in the ashtray!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Montreal Guitar Show update!!!!

So here are a few shots of the guitars in lacquer....... I can't believe that in three weeks the necks will be glued to these bodies, they will be fretted, pickups installed, tailpieces, bridges and pickguards made and attached and with a little luck and no sleep, sounding like guitars...... or I'll be in a pine box on my way to the hereafter!

Monday, May 10, 2010

So here are a few of pictures of the two show guitars ready to be routed for binding. The small one gets koa binding and the larger maple binding. Colours are still to be decided but I like birdseye maple when the colour has some strong yellows in it as seen in the close up of one of the backs! Both guitars have a lot of figure in the maple but I don't want either of them to be natural. This is a guitar show they are going to and they want to scream from the table!!! "look at me....look at me!!"

As a complete aside, there are rumours of a new Pukka Orchestra project to be undertaken! With Graeme Williamson living in Scotland and Neil Chapman and I at least both in Ontario, it would be a wonderful creative sidebar in our lives! I'll keep those interested updated.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mark Korven and his Sarello!
Here is a link to Mark Korven's site and a little more information on the Sarello. Poke around the site and you'll see and hear what a clever and talented bloke Mark is!

More pictures to come soon on the two show guitars. The backs are on both and the tops almost ready to brace and glue on! I've been busy with a couple of major neck resets and refrets but another 'build window' is about to open up!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Accidental art from guitar making

Process Art has always appealed to me. Like clues left behind of a journey and purpose.
It has played a central role in much of my own art since I was a kid although I didn't realize it at first. The first Art School I went to was in Canterbury, England studying sculpture. It was a pretty traditional school at heart but somehow it had become a magnet for some very cool people. Characters like Ian Drury (Blockheads) and David Thompson (drummer and sculptor) were our teachers and there was some fantastic art being created.
One of my personal faves was a series of paintings by a girl who used her naked body as a brush, dipping herself in paint and then rolling across the canvas in various poses. That will always be my clearest introduction to 'process' as art.
As I was taking Sculpture I was expected to buy my own materials and learn the skills of the trade. The problem was that I also wanted to visit Greece and Scandinavia during my holidays and the only money I had was my materials, food and lodging grant. I had to eat and sleep, so my material budget became very very small. In fact all I could afford was paper and string. I was also able to buy a few panes of glass that I would use over and over for the next couple of years.
To be honest I think my teachers kind of wrote me off as a lost cause at least until we got a visit from an artist having a large retrospective at the Tate Galley in London. He was the first person I ever met who actually took what I was doing seriously. Seriously enough to offer to trade any piece of his in the London show for one of mine. I took him up on it and then he suggested I apply to NSCAD in Halifax Nova Scotia, which I did and subsequently went to several months later, leading to dozens of adventures.....
All this to say, here are some pictures taken yesterday during some fairly boring sanding stages of guitar building that never the less included some nice visual moments that I wanted to share.
More again soon.........

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

'Faraway' micro movie

Check this out!
I was one of the producers on this poem/movie performed by Kate Marshall Flaherty.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Update on two guitars in progress

16" Guitar

Here is a picture of the spectacular birds-eye laminate back (which has amazing curl as well) and the seasoned German spruce top roughed out. I do all my carving by hand, no CNC or duple-carvers here! These parts are paired up with solid birds-eye sides which are ready to bend and a three piece birds-eye maple neck which has been glued up (wide centre rosewood strip). Other parts like fingerboard/tailpieces/bridges depend on whether I go with ebony or rosewood for the tailpiece, bridge and pickguard. Keeping those options open at this point.

14 1/2" Guitar

Here are pictures of the curly maple laminate back and the solid curly maple top also roughly carved out. This is the guitar which will have the channelled block (Spanish cedar and mahogany mix for weight) running between the top and back. The core section is made and runs uncut from one end of the guitar to the other. Both ends are glued directly to the top and back at either end and then there are corresponding fitted braces throughout the arches on both top and back. This part is labour intensive!

Both tops in progress

This is a glimpse into the carving process. Once the underside of the block is established then the perimeter is thicknessed to create a consistent edge to work from. Then some bulk is removed so that the top can sit in my carving jig without moving about. Then I get to work on the inside bowl to within about 5% of its finished dimensions. I'm about 40% of the way right now using my two little hand planes. I made a bunch of these planes a few years ago for Linda Manzer and myself and a few extras which are in the hands of a few builders and guitar collectors. I've included a close up of one of these planes. We each have two of them because they heat up as they are being used and you can switch back and forth.

Hand Plane
More details to follow......................