For those of you who don't know that Kel is bike maniac.. Well, he is.And he's been riding "Kelly" Bikes for a long time now. After all these years Kelly(bikes) is going to have a Kelly(guitar).. So we decided to make the pickguard for him to go with it. The second one is one I finished today, a custom order.
And a quote I thought was neat and instantly made me think of the Bowery Pine guitars.. This is out of one of my newer favorite books "Viktor Wynd's Cabinet of Wonders".. "One only has to watch a collector handle the objects in his glass case. As he holds them in his hands, he seems to be seeing through them into their distant past as though inspired". -Walter Benjamin Xx
I completed my first build with Kell- myMini T-Style, in August of 2013. The second is my "Les G" - completed around July I think 2014- a shape Kell dreamt up -- just some process photos and whatnot of them both. I did the drawing on the back of my T off of some "Tarot of the Cat People" cards that I have from years and years ago, got a kick out of em and thought theyd look kinda neat on there(it's not my art, but I did draw it all freehand). It's got a Chelsea Hotel neck, 50% old Swamp Ash and 50% gun stock quilted maple. The Les G neck is made of Jim Jarmusch's loft and the body of Chumley's Speakeasy. (I was still super blonde in most photos and I realize they're a bit out of order but bear with me, I've been posting from my phone lately).
And the Les G..
Being an artist and musician I thought this text from Juliette Aristides' "Classical Drawing Atelier" was just so neat and inspiring, worthy to post for anybody who's been following me.I've not posted much on my paintings or illustration/life drawings yet but I will be so this is a neat introduction for those of you following me for my love of music and the guitar..
"Before we look at a painting based on nature's geometry of beauty in design, it would be useful to understand what makes a painting beautiful. A beautiful painting is like a beautiful song. A song contains rhythm, melody, and harmony- all of which perform unique and critical roles in the piece. The rhythm provides repetition and gives the ear a steady, if sometimes subtle, beat to follow. The melody provides the ear with a lyrical narrative and the harmony provides a counterpoint to the melody. Together melody and harmony create a sense of theme and variation. All three of these elements are used in music to create moments of tension and resolution, giving the whole piece a sense of following a full circle, or going from beginning to end. Drawings and paintings utilize the visual equivalents of rhythm, melody, and harmony, and the deliberate and successful creation of tension and resolution is precisely what makes great art great. It is interesting to note that a beautiful painting and a beautiful song contain similar qualities of mathematical composition. Yet they differ in terms of presentation. A song presents a linear progression of aural vibrations through time, discerned by the ear, whereas a painting presents the visual vibrations all at one time, discerned by the eye. In other words, a painting is like a song frozen in time."
I'm ending my posting with a process shot of a life drawing I did a few years back at Art Students League.
Finished it up yesterday! I was waiting on these neat german pickup rings which took a while(and I wasn't so sure it was gonna be worth it) but it most definitely was! The rings, pole pieces and metal inlay dots compliment each other so perfectly; I am super in love with it. It's my third complete build and as Rick keeps telling me they really do just get better and better. We used Van Zandt pickups. Vintage Plus in the neck and bridge and then(long story short) True Vintage in the middle position. Sounds great and feels great too, so happy with how the matte black paint and leather turned out. Ill update this with more specs soon but until then..Some photos!
P.S. Christmas in New York City..
Our friend John chipped his Tele horn and was so heartbroken he wanted Kel and I to sand it down and burn some paisley on it, make it beautiful again. Some before and after shots. Subtle, but it's perfect.
Cathedral neck glued and coming along!
Another new pickguard to sell. Finishing up the shellac after this post! Xx
Obviously some updates on the moto. First photo of Lenny Kaye and Kell, he stopped by the other morning to get his guitars set up for some playing with Pussy Riot along with Patti for the Horses 40th anniversary tour. For those of you who haven't been in the shop, you can really feel the super special down to earth atmosphere as soon as you step through the door(if you can get the door open, that is- ha ha) and quickly come to understand why Kell attracts such good hearted people like Lenny that have always come in just to catch up, tell stories, or get their instruments worked on. I wanted to post the photo of them 'cos it's the most recent of so many from the shop that represents a strong standing craft that truly makes a difference in the world; it's such a pleasure working around someone so knowledgable and something so unique on a daily basis. Gretsch-inspired t-style looking beautiful. Many more photos and exciting things to come! x
Some quick update photos of the inlay process, a bit of an experiment dealing with the matte black paint but it's coming along pretty neat. Ive now got the black paint on the neck so I'll add newer photos soon.Got a neat Alchemy hand from the Englishtown Auction this past Sunday. Also a Gremlin pin, which I love so much. Shop visitors are getting a kick out of the hand, a new addition to my collection of crazy things. Also visited my grandfather's grave for the first time since he passed. Thought I'd post some photos of all this. More sneak previews of a new pickguard. Also, I stained the Gretsch-inspired t-style today. Looks great, gonna put the final coat on soon so those photos will be posted along with more of the moto neck as I said.
Had a great birthday and got lots of super inspiring presents!Went to the Met; Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire is one of my favorite exhibitions right now and overall since I've been going to the Met and of course the Early American Guitars exhibition(this one's been up a while but will only be up until December 7th for those of you who haven't seen it yet or don't know about it). Took a photo of some of the things my boyfriend bought me for my birthday: Stealing Away the Night, flowers, a turtle shell(I have a pet turtle named Sloopy), a freeze dried bat which we named Bruce(Im going to set him up nicely in a glass dome), and the teacup I bought myself on a whim(with some of the money I won from birthday scratch offs my good friends bought me). He also bought me some polaroid film which I was in desperate need of; I have got some ideas in which I will be including some polaroids as well as photobooth photos regularly as part of the final stages and completion of my guitar building and experimenting, so look out for those 'cos I think they're going to be really neat once they get going.
Here is an update on that sneak preview, as well: The "western Gretsch-inspired round-up knotty pine" t-style is coming along. I came up with one more idea for this but otherwise it will be stained that famous Gretsch "red-orange" and be finished very soon.
This last one is just some final inspiration for the day, for myself and you, one of my absolute very favorite artists ever; Zdzislaw Beksinski.
More soon!!! X
It'll be my birthday in a couple days and Kel surprised me early with some awesome gifts! I've got a thing for victorian ormolu/vitrine jewelry boxes and have always wanted some skulls for reference with art and just to have to add to my antiques/oddities collection so Kel surprised me with some! Funny thing, I've been into skulls for so long and haven't ever bought or really looked for any.. So, I'm super happy; inspiration! Will definitely be doing some still life drawing and painting with these soon, keep an eye out 'cos I'll be posting.He also bought me my first tool for when I start my work bench at home- Snap-on screwdriver! Too neat! A photo of what I will be looking at all day today.. A sneak preview featured of the western/Gretsch(Knotty Pine/Roundup)-inspired custom order I am working on at the moment, as well. And a photo of the Bowery Pine that will be going up for sale on the Facebook page soon(pickguard by me). This one's a real beaut! Xx
I'll be posting a photo of a new rose/barbed wire themed pick guard soon and Rick and I are picking up the leather for my moto guitar this Sunday so keep checking back for updates! I'll hopefully also have some time so post some music and antique stuff soon, as well.. getting my computer fixed is taking longer than expected so hang in there with me! xx
Figured Id post the continuation of what the new body shape is looking like.. I started wood burning the cathedral on it and finished another pick guard that is up for sale on a t-style Bowery Pine that Rick just completed.
These photos are of the new piickguard I wrote about; the first couple when I shellacked it, the next couple of it drying and the last obviously finished.
This is what the Lower East Side/Jewish Heritage custom order is looking like so far on the body it's going on.
No updates on the moto yet- I now have to find the best leather for it; but here's a new one I am working on.This one is going to have a bunch of wood burning done- and will be in our Halloween window display this year at the shop. It won't exactly be "Halloween themed" but it will be up for sale a I am saving details for later on, it's not close enough yet. First one we've made, though, so keep an eye out for more updates especially if you want the first of something super unique. Rick is also working on something very special here and there (and by that I mean working even harder than normal 'cos he's of course still got constant crazy orders) to finish for the window. Very exciting!!
So, it's based of a design just like the LesG we've made except it's "the other way".
Some photos of the process so far, from the template make to gluing the binding, which we just did today.