Your monthly e-zine from Luna Guitars  · June 2006







In this issue


Ø  On My Drawing Board

Ø  Ticket to Paradise!

Ø  Medieval Art

Ø  How Did Luna…?

Ø  Staff Notes










































I think everybody has a right to happiness and freedom and security and health care and education and guitar lessons.


               ...Bonnie Raitt













Learn more about the ancient (and modern) art of henna at


On My Drawing Board            

A message from Yvonne de Villiers
Luna Guitars Executive Director & Artistic Designer 


Welcome to Luna's "Illuminations" e-zine. We decided to start this monthly feature as a way to shed light on some of our new products and to provide short articles of interest and inspiration to our readers. This month we introduce you to our Henna guitars. We thought you might enjoy a peek behind the scenes to see how we craft these unusual instruments.


Acoustic Guitar magazine readers, please watch for a review of the Henna Paradise models in the publication’s August 2006 issue. You’ll also find a full-page ad (pictured next to the article that follows) for the new instruments in that same edition of the magazine.


We hope you’ll enjoy your e-zine. In fact, I’d love to hear your feedback and any suggestions or requests you might have for upcoming issues. E-mail me directly at Shine on!


Yvonne is pictured above holding one of Luna’s lightweight Pandora electric guitars.



Your Ticket to Paradise!


The Paradise C and Paradise S are two amazingly innovative, show-stopping guitars. Much of their unique appeal lies in their “tattoos.” Henna is an ancient and traditionally female type of body art. Used for ornamentation and rituals in many cultures, the intricate designs are painted on the body using a paste made from the henna plant. Inspired by the artistic process and the beautiful imagery of henna tattooing, Luna’s artistic designer Yvonne de Villiers set out to marry the ancient tradition with modern guitar technology. The result is pure paradise!


“We wanted the henna patterns for these instruments to be authentic,” says Yvonne, “so we commissioned Alex Morgan – a renowned Henna and graphic artist from the UK – to work her magic on the guitars’ fronts, backs and headstocks.”


Once the custom pattern was created, Luna’s craftsmen used the latest in laser technology to etch the intricate design not just on the tops of the Paradise models, but also on the guitars’ backs and on their matching headstocks, just as the artist had envisioned. To complete the effect, explains Yvonne, “We decided on a satin finish and two tones of wood (in solid spruce and cedar topped models) to further imply the look and feel of skin.”


Luna’s Henna models have folk style cutaway bodies with build-in pre amps that offer the flexibility of acoustic or electric play. The Paradise C guitar combines a solid cedar top with mahogany sides and back, while the Paradise S teams a solid spruce top with quilted maple sides and back. Both guitars are distinctively “tattooed” with Alex Morgan’s elaborately detailed henna artwork – exclusively yours from Luna Guitars.



Medieval Art of Spain Inspired

Alex Morgan’s Custom Henna Pattern


UK graphic artist and henna design specialist Alex Morgan adapted the artwork of Medieval Spain for use on Luna’s Paradise henna guitars.

“One of the main themes of the pattern,” says Alex, “is the Simurg, a mythical bird from Persian literature. The Simurg possesses healing powers and its symbolic meaning is the hidden self, our inner light. Its feathers – such as those placed on the headstock of the guitar are given as a gift and can be used to heal wounds.” The flying bird is pictured along with a serpent on the front of the henna guitars. Both creatures are symbolic guardian figures, and the serpent represents life force, nature, energy and potential.


Working with the theme of Paradise, Alex adorned the guitar’s back with a tree motif, representing shelter for the birds and the other creatures that are woven into the instrument’s overall design.

“Birds are used in symbolic form,” explains Alex, “representing the mediation between the physical and the spiritual - a bit like music. The tree symbolizes immortality and regeneration.”

Alex Morgan is also a professional photographer and illustrator who has taught her art to others. She has published ten pattern books, and her photos and illustrations have been the subject of multiple exhibitions. View more of this gifted artist’s work on Alex’s Web site



How Did Luna Tattoo A Guitar?


Luna’s Paradise Henna guitars are “tattooed” with sophisticated computer numerical control (CNC) laser etching technology. CNC laser cutters and routers are used to cut and shape precision products used in making a variety of things –signs, logos, car parts, machinery pieces and other items. There’s even a chef in Las Vegas who uses a CNC router to fashion dazzling ice sculptures for upscale parties and special events. 


The Luna team scanned the original henna patterns created by artist Alex Morgan into a computer that generated a series of numbers detailing where and how the guitar’s wood should be cut to replicate the design. Following that "tool path," a laser beam controlled by the computer engraves the intricate pattern on each guitar front, back, and headstock before assembly. Each piece is then sanded lightly before construction and finishing.



Front and back of the henna guitars.



Staff Notes


From your Luna Guitars team 


At Luna Guitars, we pride ourselves on our lightweight instruments, but here’s one for the record books: Several years ago, scientists at New York’s Cornell University created what they called a “nanoguitar.” The size of a cell – 10 micrometers in length – the tiny six-string wonder was carved from crystalline silicon using electron-beam lithography, a sort-of microscopic version of the precise pattern-cutting method Luna used to craft the Henna Paradise guitars. The Cornell team made the nanoguitar strictly for fun to demonstrate techniques that can be applied in fiber optics and other electronic uses. Next, maybe they’ll fashion a tiny case for the innovative instrument. But where will they ever find picks and strings?!



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© 2006 Luna Guitars