What distinguishes art from craft? Since the traditional answer skews utilitarian and hinges on an object's 'use value ' musical instruments are typically grouped into the latter category. This is a grave oversight. In The Invisible Line: When Craft Becomes Art, seven West Coast artisans discuss their work and make the case for curatorial inclusion of instruments (and other “primitives”) alongside the finest sculptures, etchings, paintings, and pastels the world's museums have to offer. Conceived and edited by Larry Robinson, the man behind The Art of Inlay: Design and Technique for Fine Woodworking, The Invisible Line consists of seven lavishly self-illustrated essays penned by self-employed, practicing artisans (rather than academics, art historians, journalists, or critics) at the height of their careers. Whether you're a a practicing musician, an art aficionado, a luthier or woodworker, or an everyday person with an affinity for the aesthetically pleasant, this gorgeous volume is sure to awe and inspire.
Larry Robinson (Valley Ford CA) has been building guitars since 1972 and specializing in inlaying since 1984. He has has customers on six continents; his work has been featured in many museum shows and is in permanent collections of the CF Martin Co., Fender Instruments, Gibson Guitars, and private collectors.
David Giulietti (Berkeley, CA) works in his studio creating jewelry pieces of enduring beauty and also engraves commissions for private clients around the world. John Mayer, Katy Perry, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, Jackson Browne, and David Grisman all have David's work in their collections. He worked on the Millionth Martin Guitar with world-class inlay artist Larry Robinson, and his work has been exhibited at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, California.
Bob Hergert (Port Orford, OR) started doing scrimshaw in 1978, strongly influenced by the Bellingham school in Washington State. A chance meeting with Eric Galletta of Galletta Guitars opened the door for Bob to do scrimshaw work for the Allman Brothers Band, the Beach Boys, and many other guitarists. He continues to work with other luthiers and inlay artists, including Larry Robinson and Harvey Leach. He collaborated with Leach on Martin Guitar's 1.5 millionth guitar – “da Vinci Unplugged” – now on display in the Martin Museum, and, more recently, with Robinson on the Steve Klein da Vinci homage.
David J. Marks (Santa Rosa, CA) is recognized internationally as a master craftsman of fine furniture, turner, sculptor, and host of the television show WoodWorks. David started woodworking in 1972, making redwood burl tables. In the late 1980s, he shifted focus to wood turning and sculpture. His signature patina finish is a hybrid of multiple finishes, which combines painting, gilding (metal leafing'), 'chemical patinas, and lacquering techniques. The complex layers result in a finish that may look ancient, metallic, or even of a petrified stone quality.
Michihiro Matsuda (Redwood City, CA) was raised in Tokyo, Japan. Pairing traditional woodworking skills with an innovative sense of design and construction, he builds around eight guitars each year at his shop in Redwood City, California. He is striving to make instruments that integrate fine materials with his dedicated sound study. Each of his guitars is unique, personal, and individual.
Tom Ribbecke (Healdsburg, CA) has been building and designing all types of guitars for over 40 years. He has developed an international reputation for building the arch top guitar, innovating in all areas of lutherie, and most recently for inventing/developing the Halfling™ line of carved top instruments, which hybridize the arch top and steel-string style guitars. Tom has taught gui