After seeing my last acoustic creation ('Gabriella'), my friend David suggested that I commence to add some 'Jess stuff' to my builds. I asked, "What might that be?" And, David replied, "Some special personal creativity that reflects your ability. Don't be so timid about it!"
I've given a lot of thought to what David had to say and I think he's right, I'm not as expressive with the acoustic creations as I've been with the cigar box guitars I've built. I'm not really timid about it, just not as confident. Perhaps because the acoustic creations are 'real' guitars, while the CBGs are less traditional and a lot more funky.
Well, 'Francesca' is in the oven and she will be a whole lot more like what David may have in mind.
To get started, I had to decide how I might approach being more expressive. I like the dreadnought body shape, so I'm not changing that, however, there are subtle things I can do with it to add a little spice . . . I'll just have to experiment. Because of the nature of the beast, the dreadnought is what it is, and when I start messing with the shape it's no longer what I prefer.
So, where to begin?
I decided to do something special to attract attention without major body modifications. Thus, a unique headstock overlay design. A sound hole rosette inlay to match the overlay. And, a tailpiece insert that matches.
The design, according to my son Jay, is 'cubist'. Perhaps it's a reflection of what Picasso might have come up with if he was into guitars at the time he was creating art. I'm familiar with Braque and Picasso art, but that wasn't what I had in mind when I ventured off into my creative journey. I just wanted to produce something colorful and unique in design to accent parts of my guitar.
This is the headstock overlay, which is created from 21 individual pieces of exotic wood individually cut from 1/16" stock. I worked from a pattern I drew, but decided on the specific wood choice as I moved along in the process. Each piece is glued on its edge to the adjacent piece. You'll notice the base of the design is a stylized guitar shape in walnut. Other woods are purple heart, chatke kok, zebra wood, spruce, yellow heart, rosewood, Spanish cedar, mahogany and blood wood.
The sound hole rosette follows the overlay theme with 22 individual pieces glued together in the same manner as the headstock. The trick here was to join the pieces and to cut the shape without breaking it.
Here's the tailpiece insert comprised of 16 pieces of 3/32" wood matching the overlay and rosette. This piece is slightly thicker, because it will be 'sandwiched' into an opening where the side ribs come together at the back of the guitar. Again, you'll notice the subtle shape of a guitar as the base for the design.
Work in process. The overlay is glued and curing, while the insert is being completed. The drawings are my guide.
I hope Pablo doesn't mind me unintentionally intruding on his turf.
I'll post more photos as the build progresses.