Art Series Guitars
My Art Series guitars are intended for players who desire something truly unique and personal to add to their collections. A great deal of time is spent in the planning and creation of these one of a kind instruments. I really enjoy working on these type of projects as I get to collaborate closely with the clients and develop instruments that include their passions and test and advance my skills. Sometimes the process involves working with other well known artisans including jewelers and engravers to produce the final result.
Alfa Romeo BAT 5
In the 1950's Alfa Romeo built three concept cars called the BAT 5, 7 and 9. Carrozzeria Bertone, Giuseppe "Nuccio" Bertone and Franco Scaglione were responsible for the designs. These car were prized for their aerodynamic efficiency and coefficient of drag.
The BAT 5 was my inspiration for this guitar. The body is made from alder, while the neck is maple with an ebony fingerboard. The steering wheel is featured as a fingerboard inlay. The pickups are Seymour Duncan and are housed in custom covers made with Amboyna Burl wood.
The Delahaye Roadster
Guitar collector Don Fisher from Portland, Oregon commissioned this guitar. Don has a fascination with Brazilian Rosewood and he asked me to build an archtop guitar from some decades old wood he supplied. We discussed a few ideas for the guitars theme and I suggested while he was in Nashville he should take a look at the Sensuous Steel Art Deco Cars Exhibit at The Frist Center for Visual Arts. Don liked the idea and allowed me to choose which car would work best and I chose the 1937 Delahaye 135MS Roadster. All features of the guitar are taken from the 1937 Delahaye 135MS Roadster and I chose black to contrast with the chrome.
It took a year to build the guitar with much of the time spent on planning and design.
The guitar required a lot more thought as I was wanted to incorporate some parts of the car into the design.
The tailpiece is the front grille of the Delahaye. Due to its complexity I had it partially 3D metal printed in stainless steel and added the vertical rods separately.
The cars front fender is depicted in the pickguard and is made of anodized brushed aluminum trimmed with figured maple.
Aluminum volume and tone knobs are made to look like engine pistons.
The cars unusual door handle is featured in the headstock and made from three pieces of aluminum.
Fingerboard inlays are various knobs in the dashboard and the engine side vent is also featured. I used different types of shell and brass for these.
The sound holes are a profile of the simple hood ornament.
Binding trim is figured maple.
The floating pickup is a vintage DeArmond.
Finish is nitrocellulose lacquer.
The Lauren guitar is part of the "Don Fisher Family Project".
Don commissioned six luthiers to build guitars that represent the women in his family. Lauren's guitar features quilted maple back and sides with a western red cedar top. Lauren's love of animals is evident throughout the guitar and includes a raised relief horse carving in the pickguard, a sea turtle in the headstock and an owl in the elaborate tailpiece.
Blue Marlin Virtuoso
Blue guitars became popular after the "Scott Chinery Blue Guitar Project" and I have built several since. The Blue Marlin was commissioned by Jeff Meyer and he wanted something that showed his passion for deep sea fishing. The guitar features quilted maple for the back and sides. The fingerboard inlays are of various sea shells and the headstock is from my Virtuoso model. A sailing ship is engraved into the ebony tailpiece and the pickguard features a blue marlin fish.
This flattop was a collaboration with Nashville song writer and performer Mitch Ballard. Mitch came to me asking if I could build him a guitar with a Texas sound hole. After several discussions, we decided to expand upon the Texas theme and came up with the idea of incorporating some of the San Antonio missions as fingerboard inlays. I also included the Texas star and 1836 in the headstock.
When I had my shop in Hollywood, I did a lot of work for the HardRock Cafe by making fixtures to display the guitars in several of their restaurants.
Peter Morton commissioned me to build this guitar which features the logo. The design is made with purpleheart and figured maple woods with abalone and pearl trim. Musical notes made from pearl are used for the fingerboard inlays. I chose not to use a traditional bridge as it would have interfered with the design. The pickups are custom wound and mounted from the rear.
For many years, the guitar was a fixture at the San Francisco location and was signed by many celebrities that stopped by.