Do you have a favourite part of the process? Is the initial chat a big part of it for you? Or is it the meeting at the end? Or all the different aspects, is there a bit that you get most excited about or you enjoy the most?
It's a constant ride. I do really like the initial discussion because I think something that comes quite naturally to me is being able to visualise what a customer may want quite well. So, when we start speaking about all the different options and aspects of the build, I enjoy visualising the ideas and concepts and seeing if I can bring all the ideas together into a cohesive vision. When a client brings in fresh and new ideas it can help to inspire me also, and that can be quite exciting.
Not considering the actual build process here, I think the initial discussion, and the delivery of the instrument, if I'm fortunate enough to be there when they open it, are highlights for me. It really warms my heart to either see them play the instrument or receive the first email after they get it. It brings me great joy!
I won't take up too much more of your time. But I do want to get you to speak about bespoke building for Martin Simpson and how that experience was.
Well, choosing the main tonewood options was very easy because we based it off a guitar that I'd sent him to critique during the first lockdown here in England and he basically fell in love with it, but it was already spoken for! I offered to build that same spec guitar again, Martin said yes, and we were off! Given that this was a custom build though, even if the major elements were already firmed up, I thought it would be a nice opportunity to make it more personal to Martin.
I’ve been friends with Martin for some time and one thing I know about him is his great love for British nature, birds, moths, woods, and the natural world in general. So, when we had our initial conversation about this build, I said to him, “This is an opportunity to make this guitar a bit more personal to you. I know that you love British nature, maybe there is something we can do on the decorative side to bring some English wood into your build?”. Martin said he was going on quite a lot of walks during lockdown which led me to ask, “Are there perhaps any trees that you see on your walks that catch your eye or that you particularly like?” He told me he loved English Oak and also loved the look of spalted wood.
I went away and worked out ways to integrate some beautiful English spalted Beech into the rosette and headstock, and used some striking English Oak in the binding scheme. Both of these woods are a beautiful gold colour which inspired me to instil a subtle golden theme, integrating in some gold Gotoh tuners and two golden dots on the fret markers. That all developed quite naturally after we started talking about making this build personal for him. Thankfully he has the guitar now and loves it, which is a huge relief when you’re building for someone as incredibly talented and respected as Martin Simpson!
We have an incoming TD Model, aswell as a 2023 build slot which can be secured today with a 35% deposit.