OO-14 Fret Short Scale – Quilted Western Maple – Adirondack Bearclaw Top
We are excited to begin sharing parts of the process in the making of our 2nd Masterpiece guitar, which is a 00-14 Fret Short Scale Quilted Western Maple with a select Adirondack top. Dream Guitars has generously supported our efforts in producing instruments of the highest order, both technically and visually.
Simon Haycraft is our inlay specialist and brings his professional artistic background to Thompson Guitars custom inlay and design work. His collaboration with Preston for the 1st Masterpiece was really more special that we realized because at that time we had no idea that Preston would not be around to see the completion of the 2nd guitar in the series. Simon was able to show Preston the design work of the 00 and Koi pond theme during his last days. Preston expressed how proud he was of Simon’s visual ability, which also reflected Preston’s classic sensibilities.
We look forward to the completion of this guitar towards the end of the year, but not before it goes through a transformation in the finishing stage. The quilted maple was selected for its water-like qualities found in the grain pattern. Providing a canvas for Simon to create a Koi scene on the back echoing the imagery on the neck.
The technique for the artwork is one that Simon has developed over many years and will render the Koi fish, appearing to swim within in the wood. The overall design concept draws upon Japanese and Chinese aesthetics, interpreted through Simon’s visual style.
The inlay on the neck, though simplistic in design, was extremely technical and features approximately 200 individual pieces of stone and pearl. The flowing design takes your eye up the fretboard and continues onto the headstock with the cherry blossoms completing the scene.
The brass was chosen to add shimmer and life to represent water, which is reflected in the binding package from the rosette all the way down to the smallest detail of the heel cap. Developing the technique of using brass and wood posed a challenge and required all of the teams combined knowledge and craftsmanship.
Here are some of the steps that Simon took to create the back of this guitar. A unique process that takes a skilled hand and talented artistic eye.