This is a project that I began while earning my BA in New York. While attending my luthier certification course in 2006, I came across an inscription taken from an Elizabethan lute. It read:
I was alive in the forest.
I was cut by the cruel axe.
In life I was silent.
In death I sweetly sing.
This inscription has stuck with me to this day and led me to consider the nature of the materials used in lutherie. The wood used to make a guitar was once the "body" of a living organism. It gets stripped of bark and leaves, leaving the hardwood core, which I see as the skeleton of the felled tree. This realization coupled with the anthropomorphic terms used to describe part of the guitar - body, neck, head, waist, etc. - and yielded the image of a human skeleton fashioned in the shape of the modern guitar.
My first attempt to realize this idea, Skelitar Mk.1, was in 2007. Years later, I decided to revisit the idea by making a thin suspended work more accurately portraying the bones of the human body. This work was Skelitar Mk.2 and led me to decide to turn this concept into a series of works to be created over several years.
The next step in the series is to combine the strengths of both previous works. Mk.1 had the form of the guitar and its dimensional depth. Mk.2 had the realistic portrayal of bone profiles. Mk.3 is set to be a fully 3D carved piece with somewhat realistic bone forms assembled within the common dimensional boundaries of an acoustic guitar. Mk.4 is very far down the line, but I hope for it to be a fully playable guitar using structural knowledge gained in the 3D exploration of Mk.3.