in a way I never put into words until my wife,
who is in education, showed me work on cognitive processes. They find that people who pursue careers that require creativity within limitations are the people that are utilizing the largest
portion of their brain capacity at once. To make
art with no limitations, just do whatever the hell
you want with whatever medium, that’s great.
But to create and be original equivalently within
limitations requires more brain skills. That’s just
how people understand cognitive processes. It
applies to anybody in the creative arts or crafts
that are making functional things yet still doing
newly creative things in that functionality.
You have to have the desire to do it, and then
you learn patience. You could be struggling with
something, saying, “I’ve been at this for hours,”
and you walk away. But an experienced luthier
might take two days to do that job well. I think
you develop an attitude once you do it. I never
repeat a design, that’s a policy (though I do
have drawings of everything, so if your guitar is
destroyed I can remake it). I do that as much for
my own personal satisfaction as anything else.
Detail from “Grand Complications” fretboard.
I’d love to do a subsequent book to focus
on my more recent inlay work. Other than
that, I’d love to be making guitars right up
to the minute I drop dead. My ideal would
be in my wife’s arms, but we’re both somehow at my workbench! Despite all the other
things I do, building guitars is still my first
love. It’s been more than 38 years and I still
love it when I get a miter joint perfect on
the first try. That can still make your day.
So what in the whole wide world is next for
you? Music, building, writing, inlay art, and?