Lutherie-Inspired Artwork

I am primarily a visual person.  I have done work that expresses a sense of the world that is Islamic, or Celtic, or Renaissance, or African, or Hebraic, or abstract, or “natural”, or architectural, or art Deco, or Japonesque, or geometric, etc.; I see beauty in all of it.  And I express it because, well, I think the world is a nicer place if one can find beauty and its Siamese twin, truth, in it.

A lot of my artwork is of the type that guitar makers, violin makers, and lute makers use, and into the same woods that they use, when making their instruments – that is, carving and inlaying designs that have no other purpose than to lend beauty to the object.  I’ve liked these artistic touches so much that, at one point, after years of making guitars that looked like everyone else’s, it occurred to me that I didn’t need to build a guitar around them; they could stand by themselves.  I have so far found no limit to how one could carve and/or inlay into wood.

I might add that the spruces, cedars, and redwoods that I carve and inlay into are themselves older than you, your parents, your grandparents, your great-grandparents, and often even beyond that.  Each grain line represents one year’s growth; and my guitars’ and artworks’ guitar-top woods have between 150 and 400 grain lines.  A grain count can tell you that a particular piece of wood was alive and growing as part of a living tree 150 years before the American Constitution was written.  Or was alive when Shakespeare was writing his plays and sonnets.  It may have been alive when Antonin Leeuwenhoek discovered the first microbes, when Samuel Johnson was writing the first dictionary, or fifty years before the French Revolution.  These woods are little noticed or appreciated for themselves, but they’re actually remarkable.

The best artistic work is painstaking and time consuming.  It is also tastefully and skillfully done, often with a deceptive simplicity.  I take my own art seriously, and my sense of the best art is that it resides at the midpoint between being too simple to look at for more than a few seconds and, on the other end, giving you clutter to look at.

All of these pieces are framed and are designed to hang on a wall.  Call or write, for prices.