Left to right: William Beauvais, Peter Powell, Will Hamm and Goemon Ishikawa
Guitar Fest West at Mount Royal Conservatory
August 17, 2015
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The Tree Is The Art

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

– St Francis of Assisi

People often say to me “you are an artist”, but my response has always been that I’m just the facilitator, that the tree is the real artist. Over the past 30 years I have been privileged and blessed (if I can use this word) to craft musical instruments from some of the most spectacular woods on the planet and, more often than not, produce spectacular sounding instruments.

Just recently a professional touring musician remarked that my instruments are “too pretty”, that if he was in the market for a guitar, it would have to be more of a “utility tool”, otherwise he would always be afraid of damaging it.

I could certainly oblige him in making a plain looking, great sounding guitar, however, it would not be as pleasurable for me to build as one with “landscape figured” Ziricote and tight grained, silky Western Red Cedar with a “kaleidoscope” rosette using multi coloured and figured exotic wood.


L00 Ziricote-hammstrings-1 the trade as art The Tree Is The Art L00 Ziricote hammstrings 1

 

Should I apologize for making my instruments too classy? I prefer to let the trees decide.

 

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