Palo Escrito back& sides

Palo Escrito back& sides
2014 April Palo Escrito flamenca

Monday, June 9, 2014

Most of the time guitar makers think about rosettes as patterns. Small tiles with designs are inlayed between veneer lines to create circles of patterns. I have done patterns as the primary way of organizing the rosette, but I also like to think in terms of color a light like a painter. Pattern drops away in favor of the blending of color by the eye when two or three colored veneer lines are set next to one another. 

If you lay a blue veneer line next to red veneer line and back up a bit to view the rosette, you eye will blend the colors to make shimmering purple. I like to think about pure color and light in rosettes by juxtaposing both strong complementary colors and very closely tones colors to see what happens. 

But there's always room for more patterns. I'll up date this entry when I work further on this rosette. The color will pop out when it has finish on it. 


This also gives me a reason to post some paintings by Pierre Bonnard- Rosettes work differently than these paintings, but there's a visual kinship between the colored veneer lines in rosettes and the way juxtaposed colors shimmer and blend in the eye on these canvases. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I'm working on some baroque cello bows, here is the first one. Ipe stick and a snakewood clip in frog. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

 Stephen here, I've let this blog lapse for almost three years, but I am going update it and use it to show my latest work. 

I live in Japan now and I have a work shop in a small town called Akune on the West coast of Kyushu, the southern most main island in Japan. I still work for customers in the US where I am from, but I also make guitars for musicians in many countries around the world a send them out. 

I'm going to start by showing my latest work then gradually work back and show some highlights from the last three years. 

Check out what I am working on now and I will post updates every few days or at least once a week. Promise! I have cello, baroque bow and more guitar work coming up on the blog real soon. 

Thanks for looking and feel free to ask questions, 


These photos are from the project on my bench right now.  I'm re-topping a guitar I made about 14 months ago. The top bracing was an experiment which turned out to be less then what I expected so I am re making the top for the client. We agreed this would be the best thing to do. I am making the new top more conventionally by making it a very straight forward Torres style fan bracing. 

 In the photo above you can see the pillar that the horizontal bar sit on top of. I added that and I also replaced the lower horizontal bar below the soundhole. 

The brace is being fit and it sits just above the rim of the guitar on the pillar.

 Gluing in the new bar. 

 The new top in place with finish nails as index pins to keep it from sliding around when I glue it to the block and bars. 

 The ruler on top of the bar allows you to see the arch I planed into he bar. I glued the bar in place an then honed the arching to the correct height and curve with a really sharp plane. 

 Using a combination of bar clamps, cello clamps and a few specially made cauls I glue the new top to the two horizontal bars and the neck block first. You don't have to glue everything at once when you use hot hide glue and I wanted to focus on getting the bars perfect.

After the to is glued to the bars and neck block I used a knife to slip hot glue into the seam of the lower bout between the top and the rim. Then clamped it all up with cello clamps!