Over the years, we here at Guitar World have seen our fair share of eye-catching custom electric guitar builds. From Burls Art’s skateboard six-string to Warrior Guitars’ automobile spraypaint model, you never have to look far to find the guitar community's most wacky and wonderful creations.
However, Alex Morningstar’s "Apollo" guitar, which was built as a show-stopping entry piece for the Great Guitar Build Off 2021, is up there with the very best of the lot. Why? Because it’s made entirely out of glass.
In terms of specs, well, it’s all glass. Glass body, glass top, translucent broken glass finish, glass neck, glass fretboard… you get the picture. In fact, the only parts of the guitar that aren’t made from glass are the pickup circuit and the hardware fixtures, for which Morningstar opted for a more conventional setup.
The incredibly intricate build involved a lengthy process of precisely hand-cutting each body curve out of 1/4”-thick glass, before bonding them to a mirrored body template. The top was then crafted by pairing a one-piece slab with a smaller sheet of smashed glass, giving off an eye-popping spider web appearance.
As for the neck, Morningstar took a single piece and sanded it down using a variety of grits to achieve an ultra-smooth C-shape profile. The headstock, which is equipped with Grover Mini Locking Rotomatics, was reinforced with an extra block of glass to ensure it wouldn’t buckle under the tension.
A 14”-radius fretboard, finished with 22 stainless steel frets, completes the guitar’s glass-based fixture list. More orthodox appointments include a set of hand-wound Idle Guitar humbucker pickups, Grover Quick-Release strap locks, Schaller top-loading hardtail roller bridge and bleached bone nut.
While the guitar was originally created for the GGBO, Morningstar has listed the model for sale on his official website – it can be hand-made to order with a variety of different pickup configurations, as well as in a left-handed orientation.
Of his smashing build, Morningstar commented, “This was my first attempt at making a single-cutaway glass guitar design and building it was much easier than I expected.
"The weight of the guitar was more than I had hoped it would be at 15 pounds," he continued. "I may try slimming the body down when working on this model in the future to reduce weight.”
The Apollo glass guitar is currently listing for $3,649 over at Morningstar Guitars, alongside the rest of Alex's impressive collection of specialist glass-based builds.
To see the rest of the entries from this year’s competition, including the winning instrument, head over to the Great Guitar Build Off.