Artist Collaboration Series
This series of Cigar Box Guitars features collaborations between myself (the “guitar-penter”) and some of the most creative and unique artists located on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada.
This merging of art combined with music makes these instruments the ultimate piece of “functional art”. These 3 string guitars are fully functional as electric guitars but also serve as beautiful wall art when not being played. Just hang it on the wall and enjoy the uniqueness of West Coast themed artwork on a piece of modernized folk art.
Each guitar is as individual as your fingerprint. No two are alike. The artwork is original and signed by each artist and the guitars are all individually hand made and signed by the builder.
If you are looking for a guitar that will attract attention, sound amazing, and be totally original, then look no further.
“”Dragon’s Eye” was born from the creative mind of Haida Gwaii artist, Valerie Henderson. Valerie’s artwork is very diversified as she works in many mediums including water colour, acrylic, ink, graphite, sand, and clay. Her artwork is in private collections all over North America.
This collaboration features her use of Pyrography (wood burning) and golden acrylic paints which make this guitar a true expression of art and music. The finished guitar has amazing texture with such depth and colour!
If you look very carefully in the iris of the dragon’s eye, you can see where the artist has cleverly signed her name multiple times (V. Henderson). It blends in so well with the painting that you wouldn’t know it was there unless we told you!!
The guitar body frame is made from British Columbia Pine and the top and back are made from Sitka Spruce sourced from the Archipelago of Haida Gwaii. The neck and fretboard are hand carved from Black Walnut with Curly Maple headstock wings. The all black accents work perfectly with this guitar and the red hanging strap and tuner knobs compliment the colour of the dragon’s eye.
“:Dragon’s Eye” is a fully fretted, fully electric 3 string guitar. She has a mini humbuckere style of pickup which delivers a nice, warm tone. The scale length is 25-1/2″ with a neck that is fast and comfortable to play. The Zero Fret system provides perfect action and intonation on this guitar. She is tuned to an Open G chord and features Martin brand strings.
“Dragon’s Eye” is ready to breathe fire through your favourite amplifier and is definitely one of the most interesting and beautiful cigar box guitars you will ever see!!
“Octopus’s Garden” is a collaboration with multi media artist, Valerie Henderson. Valerie enjoys her life living in the archipelago of Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) located off the rugged coast of British Columbia, Canada. This stunning piece of functional artwork is a beautiful representation of the sea life that abounds in the Pacific Northwest.
“Octopus’s Garden” is a showcase for all the marine life living under the sea. From sea stars to shells and from seaweed to seagrass, she has included them all (right down to the clusters of Octopus eggs). The colours are bright and eye-catching. The additional use of Pyrography (wood burning) creates more depth and dimension to the artwork.
The female octopus likes to find hollow objects to lay her eggs in so they will be protected when they hatch. The female will only produce one clutch of eggs in her lifetime so she wants to make sure the eggs are guarded and safe. The hollow skull with the gold tooth seems to be the perfect spot. Why a skull? Well, that just adds a bit of mystery to the piece, doesn’t it? Who was he? What happened to him? Was he a Pirate?
“Octopus’s Garden” is a fully fretted (25-1/2″ scale) and fully electric Cigar Box Style 3 string guitar. The mini humbucker style pickup has a warm tone that sounds amazing through an amplifier. The guitar body is made from British Columbia Pine with Sitka Spruce on the top and back. The neck is Maple with a Black Walnut fretboard and headstock wings. The fully adjustable floating bridge is made from Spalted Maple and compliments the guitar body colour nicely.
The accents are all chrome but don’t take away your focus on the beautiful artwork adorning the top and sides of this guitar. You might even notice the tiny octopus charm that has been added to the centre of the headstock to keep that 1961 Canadian nickel company.
This guitar is a true piece of functional art and a great representation of sea life in our part of the world.
Lords Of The Sea
“Lords Of The Sea” is a collaboration with Dot Artist, Sandi Offerein.
Based on Vancouver Island, Sandi is well known for her ocean themed paintings. Her whimsical style is perfect and suits this guitar so well. The mother Orca (Killer Whale) and her calf swim lazily in the ocean depths while Sandi’s use of dot art flowers and bubbles add so much to the background of the painting.
“Lords Of The Sea” is a fully fretted and fully electric 3 string guitar. The neck is made of Maple and the fretboard is a really nice piece of English Walnut. The guitar is currently tuned to an open G chord and sounds fantastic plugged in to your favourite amplifier. The action is low and the intonation is great.
This is a great combination of art and music!
“Twilight” is a collaboration with Vancouver Island based artist, Kate Drexler.
Kate’s artwork has the ability to capture the true essence of the West Coast and this guitar has it all. She combines all the elements, from the ruggedness of the mountains to the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. She has created a scene where a lone Orca surfaces in the ocean right at twilight. She has even painted a tiny shooting star on the top side of the guitar body. So beautiful!
The Orca (Killer Whale) is synonymous in the Pacific Northwest and symbolizes family, romance, longevity, harmony, travel, community, and protection to the First Nations people of this region. It is said that the Orca will protect those who travel away from home, and to lead them back when the time comes.
“Twilight” is a Fully fretted, fully electric 3 string guitar. She has a Red Oak neck and a Black Walnut fretboard. The scale length is 25-1/2″ and is currently tuned to an open G. She has low action and great intonation which guarantees great playability.
This is a killer guitar (pun intended) and a fantastic representation of Canada’s beautiful West Coast.
Sold to Dan (Beavercreek, Ohio)
A Star Is Born
“A Star Is Born” is a collaboration with Dot Artist, Sandi Offerein.
Sandi is based on Vancouver Island and specializes in Pointillism which is an art form practiced by the Aboriginal people of Australia. Her work is so creative and her use of colours tells a story. This guitar features a Sea Star (starfish) on a beach as the surf churns around and around creating a mosaic of blues and greys. The bright orange Sea Star really stands out against these otherwise drab ocean colours and almost appears three dimensional.
In addition to beautiful artwork, there are a few interesting features on this guitar that make it unique. The string retainer tailpiece is made from a section of an old vegetable steamer and the floating bridge (pun intended) is made from a piece of Vancouver Island driftwood. Very Cool!
“A Star Is Born” is a fretless style slide guitar. Fully electric, she is designed to be played with your favourite slide, however the action is low enough to play finger style. She has a Maple neck with a highly figured slice of Black Walnut for a fretboard. The magnetic wound pickup has a nice warm tone and sounds amazing through an amplifier.
A great guitar for playing the Blues.
“Ocean Life” is a collaboration with Vancouver Island resin artist, Sherri Henderson.
Sherri’s artwork is highly desirable and people are automatically drawn to the bright blue ocean hues on her creations. She manages to capture the ocean at a specific moment in time and immortalizes it in resin. Her ability to make each piece as individual as the waves in the ocean is magical. She even placed a tiny Sea Star on the beach waiting for the tide to return.
“Ocean Life” is a fully fretted, electric 3 string guitar. She has a neck made from locally harvested Flame Maple with a Walnut fretboard. She is tuned to open G and has great intonation with low action. A very nice playing guitar!
Sold to Ricia (Mexico)
“First Catch” is a collaboration with Vancouver Island artist, Kate Drexler.
They are some things that are truly iconic when you think of British Columbia’s west coast. A grizzly bear catching a spawning salmon is definitely near the top of that list!
Kate has captured this moment in time beautifully on this guitar. She chose to orient the painting so that it is in the perfect position to showcase that artwork when the guitar is hanging on display. The details of the bear’s fur and the highlighting on the salmon are what makes this piece really stand out!
“First Catch” is a fully fretted, fully electric 3 string guitar. It features a hand carved Red Oak neck and walnut fretboard. The black accents and the dark wood colours are a great compliment to the natural colours found in the painting. The guitar has nice, low action and great intonation. It’s tuned to an open G chord and it will sound amazing plugged in to your favourite amplifier.
This iconic image captured on a fully functional electric guitar is an absolute “must have” for art and guitar collectors alike. Whether you play it or just admire it…..I think this collaboration is fantastic!