me

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So yeah, a little about me, to clear up any confusion, and possibly to cause some.
I used to be called George, but now I am Gwen.
The former was largely a facade built up over a lifetime of fear.
The latter is what crawled out of the ashes of that mess when it became unsustainable.
I am not a man. I am not a woman. I am not gay or straight, or any of the other labels most folks feel they need to apply to people in order to make sense of the chaos that life actually is. I am a person.
I don’t really even like the term “transgender” very much, as I feel it only serves to validate the gender binary, a social construct I have come to regard as an oppressive illusion. Having escaped that trap, I have no desire to be caught in another.
In spite of this, I still prefer feminine pronouns and terminology when suitable gender-neutral ones are not readily available, as they feel more resonant with who I am in the context of the social interactions these words are used in.
To take this even further, I don’t even identify as a luthier, mostly out of respect for those who have spent a lifetime studying and mastering all the manifold aspects of this craft, the conventions of which I blatantly violate on a regular basis.
I am an artist first and foremost; and what that means to me is that I take seemingly disparate concepts and make something new out of them.
Sometimes this is beautiful, sometimes monstrous, often both.
This is my life, this is me.

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#1406 Wisconsin road dog

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This one is a custom commission, and possibly the last T********r shaped ax I will build.
I love this guitar as much as any of the others I have made, but I have gotten a bit tired of using this body shape over the years; not really interested in copying anyone else’s designs anymore, or dealing with their lawyers.

The body is made of salvaged yellow pine, with the original saw marks showing on the front.
Neck is cherry, with a black locust fretboard.
Pickguard is made from a 1965 Wisconsin license tag.
Pickups are my own homespun creations.
Switch plate is an antique brass doorknob escutcheon.

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#1405 Barnstormer redesign

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So, here is the newly redesigned Barnstormer.
Most of the older ones had a single cutaway, and set neck~

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The new ones have a double asymmetric cutaway, and a bolt on neck.
The body is made from salvaged barn rafter sections, with the edges hollowed out before gluing them together.
This one is beech, and weighs just a tad over seven pounds. Others will be oak, elm and maple.
The neck is walnut, with an osage orange fretboard.

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The bridge is a one piece, fixed intonation unit of my own design, made from aluminum; details here~ bridge
Pickups are my homespun mini-humbuckers. Two or three single coil arrangements also available
Tuners are Hipshot classic, Sperzels also available.
This ax is available at DestroyAllGuitars

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#1404 Sparrowhawk #3

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This is the third Sparrowhawk, and a little different from the first two.
The wing faces are cut from pieces of an old door, and retain the original green paint.
They are laminated onto butternut backs, and flank a yellow poplar center section.
The neck is cherry, with a persimmon fretboard.

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Pickups are my homespun mini-humbuckers
Tuners are Sperzel locking
Available at DestroyAllGuitars

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Springtime in the hollow

That time of year again when the moss calls and I come thither, camera in hand, if I have remembered to bring it.
I collect the sunlight in my hollow and flow it through the ether to your own retinas, for convenient perusal…

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#1403 Rusticator redesign

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I have been in the process, yet again, of redesigning all my stuff.
I haven’t done a Rusticator in a long time, so it seemed like a good place to start.
Here are a couple of the early ones~

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And the new~

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The body of this one is made from salvaged white oak, is about 1 3/8″ thick, and has two large cavities routed out of the front, so despite being made of such heavy wood, the whole guitar weighs just shy of eight pounds.
The neck is walnut, with a persimmon fretboard.
This one is sold, but more in the same theme are on the way, and will be available at Destroy All Guitars

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The Whale Guitar

The Whale Guitar……. is a project put together by some very talented folks in my hometown of Providence, RI.
I am most honored to be part of this, and really happy to see it coming together so well.


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#1401 Sparrowhawk #2

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Body~ Salvaged quartersawn poplar center block; virginia pine wings, with chestnut barnwood tops
Neck~ Hard maple, with persimmon fretboard

Available at DestroyAllGuitars

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#1311 Sparrowhawk #1

This is the first of a batch I will be building for sale through DestroyAllGuitars
I made the prototype, called simply “The Hawk” earlier this year.
The new version has a bolt on neck with my new headstock, but is otherwise the same, minus a few custom details.

This one has a salvaged poplar center block, cypress wings capped with elm barnwood, and a hard maple neck with persimmon fretboard.
Subsequent iterations will feature a variety of different woods.
Pickups are Dismal Ax homespun mini humbuckers with Alnico 5 bar magnets inside the coils.
Tuners are Sperzel, and the bridge is a USA made tuneomatic.

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#1308 Road Dog Strat

This is the first Strat-shaped Road Dog I have done.
The body is made from salvaged pine 2×4, neck is hard maple, with a persimmon fretboard.
Pickups are Dismal homespun single coils
Hipshot fulcrum tremolo and locking tuners
New headstock shape, too. It is a bit bigger than my usual one.

Pickguard is a 1966 Alabama “Heart of Dixie” license tag.
1966 was the first year African American citizens were allowed to vote; but although they comprised a large portion of the rural population of Alabama and other southern states, they were heavily disenfranchised by efforts to prevent them from registering.
The Lowndes County Freedom Organization was formed in 1965 to empower black residents of this county, and provide an alternative to the overtly racist Alabama Democratic party. They chose the Black Panther as their symbol, and this subsequently became the icon for a broader movement, as news spread across the country to Oakland, California, where Hughey Newton and Bobby Seale were forming what would become known as the Black Panther Party.

The reaction from the white populace was far from cordial.
Most blacks in the rural south at this time lived as sharecroppers on white-owned farms under oppressive economic conditions, and after the 1966 election, large numbers were forced off these farms and became homeless, with no means of support.
A large “tent city” cropped up in Lowndes County, where many families lived for the next two years while organisers worked to find them jobs and housing.

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