at long last, the acoustic guitars (and my bass) from the first two harlan guitarworks lutherie classes have been completed (end of last year) and photographed (a special thanks to videobred: jamie, kara, chad and kirk, thanks for the use of the studio; and brian for letting me break his D100). looking back at the last year-and-a-half and the photographs of everyone's hard work, i'm beiginning to realize the significance of our efforts.
we started shortly after the newport guitar festival almost two years ago. after seeing some of the crazy stuff independent makers were trying (and after a beer or three), ted harlan (www.tedharlan.com) and i came back to the shop in louisville with an amplified entusiasm and few crazy ideas. after extensive designwork, tons of jig-building (my favorite part) and a little trial and error, we got under way.
learning (and tap tuning) every step of the way, we prepared tops and backs; bent sides; cut bracing; kerfed, bound and built the boxes; hand built the necks, bridges and tailpieces; inlayed, detailed and finished everything in clear laquer; strung and tuned them up and – what-do-you-know, they all sound great.
now we have two enthusiastic new classes, a much improved process in place and a new body/neck design. we're sending files out this week to have very precise plexi-glas pattern parts made in the hopes that we can continue improving the efficiency of the classes and, we've been looking at the work of lloyd loar so that we might gain a better grasp of acoustics.
can't imagine how guitar-building/woodworking relates to graphic design? as far as i'm concerned, they're identical in every way. they both require an ability to understand complex ideas, to pay attention to detail, to recognize process efficiencies and, most importantly, it requires an innate understanding of the visual language of design. are we there yet? maybe not, but we get a little closer and we improve every day.
my thanks to ted. working in the woodshop has always been good for providing useful knowledge and valuable perspective.