I've just received this guitar from Chris at the Musical Youth Foundation. It's an all-working instrument: Not expensive but plays just fine and it's in tune with itself, which is not always the case. I've added myself to the list of artists who will take on these projects to raise money for this cause. Here's a bit about them from their web site:
The Musical Youth Foundation charity was established in 2009 as part of the Dublin City Soul Festival project and is the brainchild of festival founder and CEO Chris Maher. At the heart of the project is a deep desire to have a long-term positive impact on the local and wider community by providing children on the Island of Ireland with access to a musical education.
Chris Maher (Ambassador of Soul Music and an Honorary Tennessean!) is enthusiastic and passionate about using music as a way to empower all children on this island (that so often have precious little encouragement or opportunity in their lives). Music, like any other art, is a place where you can have some control and sense of ownership in life. Once you own the ability to create with your mind and your hands, you own everything.
Suddenly, I feel like a kid again because of this project -I know it's going to take a great deal of work: Weeks - possibly months of activity, including learning how to approach the project in the first place (ie., which paints to use and how to varnish at the end, preparing the instrument itself for painting, sketching and developing the artistic direction. But I'm all enthused -some of Chris's energy has rubbed off on me!
I want the instrument to remain as playable as possible, although I realise that there will be a dampening effect on the sound by the paint. I don't want this to end up purely as a piece of art that hangs on a wall; I want it such that a player can take it down and use it in anger, so to speak. That's a real challenge.
I already sounded it out and I'm going to take down the action to improve the playability. I'm so looking forward to this...and I'll keep you posted on it as it develops. The strings are off right now, as are the machine heads, pegs and strap fixing. I've started a bit of light sanding to see what kind of paint I'm dealing with. I've already had a good chat with Peter Donnelly, who already has completed his Batik Guitar), about how he managed his one. You can see the results of his work, along with those of another couple of other Illustrators Guild of Ireland members Brian Gallagher and Rachel Corcoran here on MYF's Etsy shop. Obviously, you can buy these artworks/instruments directly from there -and support this noble charity.
Right -where's my sander.