Still Life with Guitar

I got an email from James Bishop Edwards this morning. Here is what he wrote:

Hi Steve, sometimes the morning light hits the guitar and it looks beautiful so I have to take a photo.:)

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Batuque – refreshing the finish

One of the nice things about french polish shellac is that it can be refreshed. So, after Batuque got it’s back repaired and replaced, I began give it a refreshed finish.

It looks pretty good. Not perfect, but it’s not so rough anymore. Compare to the before pictures

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Batuque… more pictures from before restoration

The loose back braces were the biggest issue and needed to be fixed. Some of the cosmetic issues were really not critical. Although the broken bindings were. Because of the damage to the bindings, I decided to replace them, and take off the back, repair/reglue the loose braces, make and install new bindings, and then finish the guitar.

The following pictures are from before the restoration on Batuque was started, back in March. I’ll post some”after” pictures soon, I just wanted to show the condition when the guitar arrived. (Although this guitar has had some rough use, I’m happy to see that over the last 16 years, it appears to have had alot of use, and that is a good thing.)

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Batuque from 2003

Here is a guitar with a history. It’s been through some emotional and physical trials. It’s nice to have it here in Blaine to be fixed up. Built in 2003, in Bellingham. Brazilian rosewood that I got in the early 1990’s. Beautiful Cedar top. I wish I could get this color and quality nowadays. It’s definitely worth fixing up.

The guitar had been banged around a little, there were two broken bindings in the back. The back braces had come loose. Sometimes things just need to be taken apart in order to put them back together for the best result. Such is the case with Bart’s Batuque.

I remember this time in my life. A pretty good time.
That’s a clothes iron in the foreground. I use it to heat the tools when taking off the back. This takes so much patience. But the back came off in one piece, without disturbing the braces. It just took time, and calm work.
So, there’s a bracing style I haven’t used in quite a while. For as rough as the guitar looks on the outside, it looks beautiful on the inside.
The back needs the braces glued. There must have been some extremes of heat or moisture, or both. After I put it together again, it will sound better without those rattling braces.
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A concert and a walk with Gyan Riley

Friday night I went to a concert at the Western Front art house in Vancouver. Gyan Riley was playing and it was a total pleasure to see and hear him play for a long set. Gyan’s technique is classical, but his music transcends that. Innovative, creative, sometimes textural and sometimes lyrical phrases offered up with seemingly effortless precision. I have to say that it was the most interesting concert I’ve been to in a long time. Definitely worth the trip from Blaine. Also worth a visit: http://gyanriley.com/

Then today I went back to Vancouver to pick Gyan up for a walk in the sunshine to catch up on each others’ life developments over the past 9 years. We made a quick stop at the nearby sign, so Gyan could make the visual joke.

And then headed up towards Squamish for a pleasant trek.


A fun time in the good weather. Pictures Credit: Gyan Riley

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Kyle takes the cake…. The OC Guitar Festival

Kyle Khembonjong placed first in the youth division at the Orange County Guitar Festival last weekend. Congratulations Kyle. Here he is holding his certificate and with Manuel Barrueco. These guys can both play guitar pretty well, and it looks like they have the same haircut… Kyle will have to work on the facial hair.

I’ve posted about Kyle before. http://ganzguitars.com/wp/kyle-khembunjong-and-his-100-days-of-practice/


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Three Cut-aways – Tops

Two cedar, one spruce. All three tops will be what I call “channel top” construction.


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I also play.

Photo credit: Merrilee

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Three cut-aways… Necks

This gallery contains 5 photos.

On the project of cut-aways… http://ganzguitars.com/wp/new-design-for-cut-away/ I am making a batch of 3 of them. All will be negras, with Indian Rosewood back and sides. Two will be 650 scales, one 640. One will be Spruce, the other two Cedar. … Continue reading

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Bridge weight

Here is what happens to a bridge when it gets shaped prior to being attached to a guitar. It loses weight.

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