This instrumental artwork was created with an appreciation in mind for the musician Ry Cooder, an amazing musical talent who’s slide guitar work is among the best in the world.
Legend has it Ry Cooder liked the sound from the Gold foil pickups produced by Japanese guitar maker Teisco. Gold foil pickups were made between 1948 and 1968, and were beautiful pieces of artwork in themselves.
Ry Cooder ended up putting one in his Fender Stratocaster guitar to obtain the deep blues sound he has become synonymous with. I liked the idea and thought I would place a few Gold foil pickups into some of my own Cigar Box Guitars to recreate the super bluesy sound Ry Cooder had perfected.
I wanted to incorporate in one Guitar a rare, and striking looking coin minted in 1950, with the Aztec Ruler Cuauhtemoc embossed on one side. I had picked up the coin in a market in Mexico City in the nineties.
Three hundred coins were struck for the Second Congress of the Inter-American Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineers. Anybody who has travelled to Mexico City, a city with around 20 million inhabitants, would agree that a medal honouring the Sanitation and Engineering Departments of that city was well deserved.
I used an exquisite cigar box made by Aston that had used the best woods for carrying sound in its construction, and I coupled this with an amazing piece of Mahogany for the neck.
The grain of the neck wood was very vivid and pronounced, so instead of creating a new design for the headstock, I just continued to follow the grain of the wood until it became the headstock design itself.
The items used in this artwork were already finished pieces of art in themselves. I was just continuing the good work already done by someone else who had shown me the path.
The Environmental message of appreciation for nature and the efforts done on raising the awareness of mankind are already centuries old, and it is time we continued to involve ourselves in their preservation, to bring about a change for the better.
SCALE LENGTH: FENDER 25.5’’ 648mm ELECTRIC, RIGHT HANDED, FRETLESS, THREE STRING, CIGAR BOX GUITAR.