The HeART of the Guitar exhibit
A luthier is the name for someone who builds a stringed instrument. However, building an acoustic instrument like a guitar is far from describing the metamorphous and symbiotic relationship that develops during this process. The idea for an instrument is born the moment the luthier sees the wood. The grain and color of the wood sparks an emotion, a vision, and a sense of what can be. It is a heart felt sense and each luthier feels and see a different potential. During the building process that may take months the luthier will spend hours working the wood to coax out a special quality. There are days when there is a rush of creativity and connection that occurs where the wood and the luthier work as one toward a common the goal. There are also times when the developing instrument becomes silent and no matter how hard the luthier tries evolution is stopped. An instrument can be like a small child who is unwilling or hesitant to cooperate. Through the good and bad times the luthier focuses on the original vision, the finished instrument.
The art of building an instrument develops as the guitar in this case takes shape. The inspiration may come from the work of others. The luthier embellishes the instrument in part from vanity. The luthier wants to show a different vision of what an instrument could look like so he/she add inlays and decorations that turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. The luthier is adding a bit of his/herself. The art however, is not just visual. It must manifest itself into a craft that entices the instrument to become tonally pleasing. Shapes, thickness, species, and the finish of the wood play a crucial role in the sound while contours and sizes improve its play ability. In the end the luthier and the wood become collaborators whose ultimate goal is to produce beautiful music for the eyes, ears and soul.
We invite you to attend The HeART of the Guitar exhibit April 13-15, 2018 Artisan Guitar Show (download the pdf poster file). There will be examples of the various physical and creative steps used in the creation of a guitar. You will also have an opportunity to hear and play the finished instruments.