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The China guitar

This is my first large project. I found this in a luthier friend's dumpster as an uncarved body and unshaped neck with no peghead. I think it was around 1985. It was a mess, but too nice to get rid of, so I kept it around for a couple of years and eventually had one of those early morning alpha state dreams where I saw everything practically as you see it here.


Lampo Leong rendered the traditional Chinese landscape painting with brush and ink onto the bare wood.  That's the kind of adventure where you can't take back any mistakes, but he didn't make any.


There was never a customer in mind for this, although I wouldn't mind if someone wanted it badly enough to pay for my time. It was just something I was compelled to do, and try out new techniques. This is the first of many projects like this, and was finished in 1996.


Notice there are no knobs interrupting the top painting and inlays.  There is a Roland GR synth pickup in front of the bridge, and I fitted the controls into the handmade tailpiece.  The guitar is basically a MIDI controller.