This guitar was a real joy to design and build. My college academic advisor got in touch to request a guitar that would play jazz chords with clarity and aplomb and look imaginative yet crisp and classy. My advisor is a fine arts professor, a printmaker who had a tremendous impact on my development as a visual artist–I was thrilled to collaborate with him to design a guitar that looks as good as it sounds. We selected an Adirondack spruce top with sugar maple back and sides for fat, clear trebles paired with African blackwood appointments to increase the visual contrast. We chose a dyed color scheme that resonated with the deep purples of African blackwood. Finally, this guitar got a one-of-a-kind twelfth-fret inlay, designed by the customer, that is the perfect exclamation point.

Continue reading “No 26 – Adirondack Spruce and Sugar Maple”


This grand concert in sugar maple has wonderful tone and clarity, with a feeling of space between the notes. It responds eagerly to a light touch and is very powerful when driven. Amber’s parents came up with the perfect name for this lightly shaded, barely-a-sunburst finish: the tea-burst.

The body is finished with a French polish and water-borne varnish sandwich, and the neck is sugar maple with an oil finish. The sugar maple and Adirondack spruce top were supplied by Old Standard in Callaway County.

Continue reading “Sugar Maple Grand Concert”

The guitar has the sharp, woody bass that mahogany produces with a nice, full treble. I used an X-braced back on this guitar, so it has a little more low end than the traditionally braced back guitars. The mahogany came from Hibdon Hardwoods in St. Louis, and the top came from Old Standard in Callaway County.

Continue reading “Honduran Mahogany Grand Concert”