• Figured Rio Ariel
  • Custom Ariel1
  • Custom Ariel3
  • Ariel Front 10
  • Ariel Back10
  • headstock2
  • inlay
  • front3
Custom Ariel1

Figured Rio Ariel

Our webmaster gave me some rather loose specifications of size and materials, and left the rest up to me. I found some spectacular Brazilian Rosewood for the back and sides of an Ariel guitar, with selected Western Red Cedar soundboard, then worked on the decorations and details over a period of 12 months.

The neck is three pieces of Mahogany tapered together like a long dovetail, with rosewood lines in between each layer. The bindings are Burr Yew, incredibly difficult to bend, with Abalone shell purflings round each edge and around the headstock. That’s about 8 metres of shell lines in one guitar, assembled from hundreds of tiny little pieces.

The fingerboard inlays might look like standard diamonds, but each one is cut from Abalone, and bordered by fine mother of pearl lines to make them stand out from the black Ebony. Much of today’s inlay work is cut by computer controlled machines, with deadly accuracy. This means that it is difficult for hand inlay to compete, and has become devalued as a result. The time involved is often out of proportion with the rest of the guitar, so I will only occasionally agree to anything other than very simple designs. But sometimes, it's fun.

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