The Carved Tele woodblock
Well, this has been a long time coming. It's been displayed before in semi finished states but it's finally completely finished, well, as finished as any project can be.
I first thought of this idea because a a friend of mine does woodblock printing for lots of bands and people I like. I was sitting there one day and thought, "I wonder if Alex can carve and print from a guitar body?" .......
Well, the answer of course is yes.
Initially we weren't sure about the type of timber but I had a nice Allparts ash body lying around the shop and asked Alex if this would work. He pushed something hard into a pick up cavity and said he'd give it a go.
I had no expectations or ideas of what it would create. I work with a couple of people like this and Tone, who does all my pedal artwork is the same. He's got a better idea of what I want because he knows what he can do. If I asked for something that didn't fit his style or expertise, he would have to force it and it wouldn't be as nice. I just said to Alex "do whatever you want"
It was finished ages ago and has been to a couple of exhibitions with and without neck and hardware. The idea that it was to be a playing guitar that was also a piece of art (all guitars are anyway) and this one came with a print taken from the front and back of the body and hand coloured by Alex. He was keen for it to be painted to protect the ink. The black you see on the body is the ink used to make the print. It would wear off if you played it, which I wasn't too concerned about, but Alex was pretty insistent that it needed to be covered.
He gave me a small piece of wood with the ink on it for me to test different paints before I sprayed it. Different paints react differently with other paints and inks and I didn't want to start spraying and have the ink run down the body. I put nitro, acrylic and 2 pack on the little block and left it to dry. Well, the nitro and the acrylic weren't going to work. The thinners in them dissolved the ink to varying degrees but the 2 pack looked good. I'm not a fan of 2 pack (the paint, not the rapper) AT ALL. It's terrible stuff for the environment and your body but I keep it for some repair work and it was the only one that was going to work here.
I came back a couple of weeks later to paint the body and as I was prepping it I went and found the little block. The 2 pack had affected the ink now ? It was lifting slightly.
I had one strip of the little block still not painted and I put some 2 pack paint in one spot and the hardener in the other, and left it again. I came back a week latter and the hardener had bubbled the ink slightly ? There was something in that that reacted with the ink and when mixed in it's formula (2 parts paint/1 part hardener) it took longer to react with the ink.
Time was running out as this guitar goes down to an exhibition in Melbourne in a couple of weeks so ............. I mixed up a batch with less hardener, which means longer curing time. It's been on for a week now and the paint is getting harder and the ink isn't reacting ......... yet.
Anyway, it, and the print will be on display in Melbourne at the Old Bar from May 23rd to June 1st at an exhibition of Alex's woodcuts. You should all go and check it out. After that it will be on display at Tym guitars.
Check out more of Alex's work HERE.