Your monthly e-zine from Luna Guitars - November 2006
A message from Yvonne de Villiers
Luna Guitars Executive Director & Artistic Designer
As many of you know, my background and first career was as a stained glass artisan. There are striking similarities between designing for stained glass and for Luna's inlaid guitar models. Both activities involve exactly the same process during the beginning stages. You can read about those in detail below in the article about how our Flora and Fauna guitars come to life.
The are differences when it comes time to finish the projects, though. After the glass is cut -- for a window, a door or some other application -- it is leaded or foiled and soldered. After the inlay material is cut for one of Luna's inlaid instruments, each piece is glued into a mirror image of itself that has been routed into the front of the guitar. In that respect, creating an inlay is actually very similar to crafting glass or tile mosaic.
An inlaid Luna guitar starts with Yvonne de Villiers' artistic vision. In this case, a delicate lotus blossom.
Color is added to bring the design to life.
Yvonne chose, from top, green abalone, yellow pearloid and mother of pearl to evoke the lotus's hues.
The beautiful inlaid designs that grace Luna's Flora and Fauna series guitars are some of the most frequently asked about models in our distinctive lines of instruments. One look at the ethereal Luna Moth, the iridescent and whimsical Dragonfly or the delicately intricate Passionflower emphasizes that these are no "typical" guitar motifs.
Luna Guitars' Artistic Designer Yvonne de Villiers says that it all begins with the inspiration. "Sometimes it comes all at once," she explains, "but other times there is an incubation process where the idea floats around in my head gaining nourishment. Because it's Luna's philosophy that the designs be symbolic and have layers of meaning that players can draw from to gain their own inspiration from our guitars, we don't consider the designs strictly ornamental."
Once an idea strikes her, Yvonne takes out her sketchbook and brings the image to life. When she's refined her drawing, she recreates it on a template that allows her to position the design in relation to the future guitar's neck and soundhole. With large inlaid patterns like the striking Phoenix model currently up for grabs in our Gotta Play Today! Contest, Yvonne observes, "I also have to consider the guitar's profile and its bridge placement."
With the positioning worked out, Yvonne then inks the design's outline, copies it and chooses the materials that will best showcase the art. To illustrate the inlay process for Illuminations readers, Yvonne previewed the concept for a brand new Lotus model that's set to debut in 2007. Mother of pearl, she decided, would best evoke the breath-taking image of the flower, while the lotus's stylized stems would take on the shades of green abalone. "The center stamens will be a yellow pearloid," she explains (colored area in the drawing at left). "The new guitar's soundhole will have the unique shape of a lotus pad, helping to add Luna's trademark layer of meaning."
Next, Yvonne turns the outlined drawing into a black and white graphic. From this graphic, a template will be made to guide the sophisticated laser router used to help execute the design and cut the mother of pearl and abalone to size so that the inlay can be assembled and fastened into place by hand during final production. At this point, the design and all the specifications are sent to Luna's factory where a prototype of the new guitar is built.
"The next step in the process is communication," Yvonne explains. "Many Luna designs use state-of-the-art technology in ground-breaking ways, so pages of emails go back and forth across the world to assure that the prototype embodies the original vision for the new instrument."
final step is the coolest part," she says. "The prototype
arrives at our headquarters in Tampa, Florida, and a new Luna model is
born! Lifting the top of the shipping box and seeing the guitar
for the first time is as exciting for me as holding a just-discovered
work of art up to the light!" The new Luna Lotus
prototype is taking shape now -- watch for the unveiling on www.lunaguitars.com
and in our 2007 catalog!
Taking Time to Tidy Up
Whether it's glossy, satin or flat, the finish on your guitar is a key element in the instrument's appearance. Because of that, it's important to take a moment to clean your guitar after you finish playing. You'd be amazed how much residue your hands can leave behind -- perspiration and dirt that can permanently damage your guitar's finish if you don't take care of it.
Naturally, it's a good idea to wash up (yourself, not the guitar!) before you play. Clean hands are much less likely to leave dirt behind. A clean guitar polishing cloth is ideal for wiping up after you play. Most guitar experts recommend a lint-free 100% cotton cloth -- either one made specifically for guitars or a clean, old-fashioned cloth diaper.
Take care to wipe everywhere that you hands and arms come into contact with the instrument. Don't forget to wipe off the strings and fretboard, too, along with the back of the neck. When you aren't playing your Luna guitar, you might be tempted to display it in your home -- especially if you have one of the beautiful inlaid models or any of the Fantasie line -- all works of art in themselves! If you decide to keep your guitar on a stand, be sure it's positioned out of the traffic flow where kids, pets (and wayward adults) won't run into it. Dust the instrument often, keep it out of direct sunlight, and maintain a cool and humidity-free environment. Storing your Luna guitar in its case or gig bag is a better option to keep the instrument safe and its finish well-protected.
Luna Guitars and Luna Authorized Dealers Announce the
Play Today!" Contest
Your Own Luna Guitars Phoenix Inlaid Acoustic/Electric Model!
Phoenix is one of our most breath-taking and popular models.
Select spruce over mahogany sides with a folk cutaway body style that
delivers a sound that's as rich and freeing as the mythical creature
that graces it. This
great guitar could be yours!
deadline is December 15, 2006
open to Luna owners & players!
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© 2006 Luna Guitars