Countless guitarists have cited Guitar World as an influence. But when Trey Xavier of the progressive metal band In Virtue explained that the Jaws graphic on his Ibanez RG5EX1 was made from “thousands of tiny pieces of paper cut from the pages of Guitar World,” we didn’t know whether to feel flattered or creeped out. After all, the act reminded us of a Seinfeld episode where Elaine left a TV Guide on the subway, and a nerdy stalker cut it up into a flower bouquet for her.
Fortunately, we discovered that Xavier is a dedicated fan of the magazine and not a disgruntled reader who wanted to slice up the editors and feed us to sharks. “I’ve been reading Guitar World since I was 12,” Xavier explained. “I’ve always had issues lying around my house. It’s a well-printed magazine with vibrant colors and good-quality paper. I cut the pieces from 12 to 15 different issues, but I had to get multiple copies of certain issues to have enough pieces of colors I liked.”
Xavier says that he decided to replicate the iconic Jaws movie poster graphic because “it conveys a scene of conceptual horror very quickly to the viewer. The fact that the girl has no idea that she’s totally screwed is very scary to me. You get that feeling of imminent disaster, like seeing a glass teetering on the edge of a table, too far away for you to catch.”
The Jaws guitar was Xavier’s first decoupage guitar project, and he estimates that it took him about nine months of on-and-off-again work to complete it. “The biggest challenge is the sheer amount of time and patience it takes,” he says. “I’d watch an entire season of a TV show in the time it took to cover five square inches. But it’s entirely worth the effort. The texture it creates can’t be replicated by any other means. I had the artwork finished by a local luthier to protect it.”
Xavier started work on a second guitar with decoupage graphics, and he has plans to do many more. “I’m accepting commissions,” he says. “You can send me your guitar to get the MosaiAxe treatment, and I’ll also decoupage other things, like phone cases, jewelry boxes or anything else I can stick paper to.”
For more details, visit mosaiaxe.com
Photo credit: Paul Robinson, rthreephotography.com