How to inlay Grace Kelly's eyes on a guitar.
October 12, 2019 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Ben is a master luthier. He supports his art by teaching and making custom guitars by hand. A patron requested Grace Kelly's eyes on the fretboard. Ben also documents his personal projects. Crimson guitars.
posted by adept256 (18 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
I really admire this guy for making his hobby his business, allowing both to flourish. His videos are always punctuated by comments like 'I am having so much fun' and 'I love this'. And there's tension, when he's going to cut into something that could undo so much work!

He's an artist, and maybe an example for others. His positive attitude, his business. I learn more from that than the woodworking.
posted by adept256 at 7:12 AM on October 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


What a creepy thing to want on your guitar.
posted by thelonius at 8:04 AM on October 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


I am an okay guitarist. I think my skills, such as they are, would be reduced by feeling like I was poking someone in the eye every time I played a C# on the low E string.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:07 AM on October 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


No question it's a fascinating process that really is art. He's quite amazing, and fun to watch. I'd like to see a large format piece on a subject of his own choosing. Like 6' x 6'. But for him, the medium is a guitar, which I get.

As far as musical instrument aesthetic? I'll take a middle-of-the-road, not purposefully ugly American Strat. The knobs don't even have to match.
posted by j_curiouser at 8:28 AM on October 12, 2019


J I M M I E R O D G E R S
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:01 AM on October 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Nifty. Great to see the process from end to end.

What a creepy thing to want on your guitar.

If they become too unsettling, you could always superglue some sunglasses to a capo.

Speaking of inlays, Grit Laskin can hook you up with Salvador Dali on the fretboard.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:17 AM on October 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


The Crimson Guitars YouTube channel is one of the very best if luthiery is even remotely relevant to your interests. I'm not into luthiery at all personally (I leave the real work to professionals, I just want to play the thing), but Ben and his crew do some really impressive work.
posted by tclark at 9:19 AM on October 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


I feel like I recognize his mood at the end. It feels like "this sure is a thing I was paid handsomely to make, which I am not sure was a good idea in the first place, but I sure did get paid a lot for it". I've been there a few times with some of my commissioned work and feel grateful that I don't have to feel that sensation much any more.

Gorgeously made, though. Damn.
posted by egypturnash at 10:26 AM on October 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Ah, in too late to mention Grit Laskin. I know folks who use his works-of-art as regular players. They tended to be friends of Grit's, though.

J I M M I E R O D G E R S

nah, /K/ /I/ /L/ /B/ /Y/   /S/ /N/ /O/ /W/ … the least high-end lutherie was good enough for Kilby, who used those slanted metallic stick-on house letters on his autoharp.
posted by scruss at 10:27 AM on October 12, 2019


Teaching guitars even with modern technology is extremely difficult, especially those snotty 7-strings. That this guy does all it by hand -- mad respect.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:20 AM on October 12, 2019


In one of his videos he referred to the tattoo on his head as the “never ending job stopper“ and the impetus for putting himself wholly into his work.
posted by chillmost at 2:20 PM on October 12, 2019


This is quite skillful, but I'm more interested in designers working with body shape. St. Vincent's signature with music man is a freaking amazing guitar. She worked closely with the company to come up with a whole new guitar shape. And the profile, while inspired by the cut of a dress, isn't literally so and knowing that is neither her nor there i/r/t the success of the design.
posted by hilberseimer at 2:21 PM on October 12, 2019


What a creepy thing to want on your guitar.

I guess we can be glad the client didn’t request Bette Davis’ eyes.

You’re welcome.
posted by terrapin at 2:39 PM on October 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm consistently impressed by the guitars his students turn out. I wish (a) I was already a luthier and (b) had the right to work in the UK, Crimson seems like it would be a interesting place to work.
posted by maxwelton at 3:13 PM on October 12, 2019


I guess we can be glad the client didn’t request Bette Davis’ eyes.

That model comes with the top stained Harlow gold.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:26 PM on October 12, 2019


he referred to the tattoo on his head as the “never ending job stopper“

That's a real shame. I would let Ben babysit my kids for this reason. I know he has kids of his own and he seems like a decent guy. But when I was a kid, I was taught that people with tattoos were criminals. It meant you'd been to prison. It was only by meeting people like Ben that I overcame that prejudice.

I didn't want to mention the tattoo, but it's so BOLD and pretty fucking rad. Keep doing whatever the fuck you want Ben.
posted by adept256 at 3:47 PM on October 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


I wonder whether the original artist was paid for the use of the image.
posted by ardgedee at 3:52 PM on October 12, 2019


I guess we can be glad the client didn’t request Bette Davis’ eyes.

She's got Steve Buscemi's Eyes
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 10:21 AM on October 13, 2019


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