For inlay work, builders often use all kinds of exotic materials, including shells, hardwoods, semiprecious stones and precious metals. When building his Dueling Dragons guitar, luthier Virgil Mandanici of Virgil Guitars utilized all of the above, but he also incorporated two more unusual materials: teeth from prehistoric sharks, for the dragons’ teeth and claws, and puppy teeth, for the dragons’ horns.
Rock stars like Eric Clapton, Slash and Billy Gibbons inspire many custom guitar builders to make instruments, but William Gelvin’s Dice OPS guitar was influenced by an entirely different kind of celebrity: comedian Andrew Dice Clay. “I made a comment to Dice about him being a rock and roll comedian,” Gelvin says.
It’s not unusual to find a guitar with a “hockey stick” headstock, but a guitar made out of actual hockey sticks is an entirely different matter. For luthier and lifelong hockey fan John Burgess of London, Ontario, it made perfect sense to build a guitar body out of the implements, although doing it proved more difficult than scoring a goal against Henrik Lundqvist.
Featuring more junkyard treasure than an episode of American Pickers, this Western Pennsylvania–inspired guitar created by blues axman Beau Davies is more than a cool collection of knickknacks; it’s also a carefully assembled gathering of items that tell his biography.
Considering that millions of guitarists have spent countless hours staring cross-eyed at glass pipes, it was inevitable that one day someone would put two and two together and make a glass guitar. For guitarist and glass blower Nick Eggert, who built this unique glass guitar with chili pepper embellishments, the concept of a glass guitar was a perfectly natural development.