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-   -   KENT CHASSON "Craftsman Style” Concert No. 99 (Engelmann/Wenge) (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=308373)

iim7V7IM7 08-29-2013 10:44 AM

KENT CHASSON "Craftsman Style” Concert No. 99 (Engelmann/Wenge)
 
Kent (Chasson Guitars, Bellingham, WA) is building a custom version of his “Concert” model for me. We both happen to share a passion for the designs of the historic US Craftsman design movement of the early 20th century. These designs focused on honest construction, simple lines, quality of materials and many times were reflective of elements in nature (think of artisans like Gustav Stickley, Roycroft, or architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Greene & Greene). We plan on integrating design elements into this guitar influenced by a variety of artisans, architects and craftsman. Since we are still developing the details of the design, some decisions regarding the top, back/side choices are still open because my sonic goals can be met by a number of routes.

This flat top is being built for my playing style; which is flat pick and fingers, solo jazz chord melody. It will have a cutaway to allow for easy upper fingerboard access. The instrument will be designed to be dynamic to touch, favor strong fundamentals with some overtones, sustain, warmth in the bass register and crystalline trebles. It should provide playing contrast to my archtop and gypsy guitars.

More details to come, once the design is finalized and the build begins in earnest.

cpabolting 08-29-2013 11:08 AM

Look forward to seeing it...I have heard great things about Chasson's guitars

It is an interesting choice because his typical bracing I would categorize as fairly modern and I know you were looking for tradition. Look forward to hearing about the materials!

JamesO 08-29-2013 11:24 AM

I'm going to enjoy watching this one. I love the Craftsman movement, too; it will be cool to see how you guys work that into the overall aesthetic.

iim7V7IM7 08-29-2013 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cpabolting (Post 3602484)
Look forward to seeing it...I have heard great things about Chasson's guitars

It is an interesting choice because his typical bracing I would categorize as fairly modern and I know you were looking for tradition. Look forward to hearing about the materials!

I don't believe that he lattice bracing on this one...(but he is free to do as he thinks best :)) More likely his take on x-bracing the top and on ladder bracing the back. I am sure they'll be images as he builds it

mikealpine 08-29-2013 06:18 PM

I admire your research and thought processes. I'm sure the careful p,awning will lead to great success. Looking forward to watching the build!

Kent Chasson 08-31-2013 06:25 PM

This is just in the beginning design phase and I have a few other instruments to build first so I don't have much to add at this point. But since that's never stopped me before....

A guitar with "Craftsman" design elements is something I've been pondering for years. I'm thrilled that Bob approached me about this. Coming up with a design that does justice to the style will be a fun challenge. At this point, the plan is to develop concepts in two different directions and see which one we like. One direction will be a contemporary interpretation that incorporates my existing headstock and bridge shape. For the other approach, I'll probably straighten things out a bit. It should be fun!

kirkham13 09-01-2013 08:16 AM

I think Ervin Somogyis guitars embody that aesthetic quite well. I am a big fan of all things arts and crafts. It has been done as a theme on archtops but I think there is a lot more room for exploration...

CoolerKing 09-02-2013 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kirkham13 (Post 3606105)
I think Ervin Somogyis guitars embody that aesthetic quite well. I am a big fan of all things arts and crafts. It has been done as a theme on archtops but I think there is a lot more room for exploration...

They do remind me of that as well, very arts and crafts...

iim7V7IM7 09-02-2013 08:29 AM

I suppose that we all may have different perspectives on the aesthetic
 
I suppose we all make think about different things when we use design terms. Personally, I don't find Ervin Somagyi's "design language" to be very craftsman, arts & crafts, mission, prairie style (insert term here).

Somogyi's instrument designs that I have seen use intricate and sometimes ornate ornamentation. His basic instrument features (headstock and bridge for example) are also schooled in the ornate in their geometry and detail. His homage to elements of nature and his integration of elements found in tile or textile are in sync in my opinion, but that's about it, at least with the later US movement. His designs are perhaps more akin to the earlier UK Arts & Crafts movement in the work of Charles Mackintosh or William Morris which was a bit more ornate.

When I think of US Craftsman designs, I think of designs reflecting the following principles:

1) honest construction: e.g. functional joinery becomes an aesthetic feature with no ornate decoration
2) simple lines: e.g. use of the rectilinear, use of clean arcs, subtle tapers, visual alignments
3) quality of materials: e.g. quartersawn woods, cast iron and copper, ceramic, stained glass
4) elements in nature: e.g. Color palette, ornamentation both realistic and simplified/abstract

I see these principles being reflected in our project.

iim7V7IM7 10-06-2013 06:54 AM

The Journey
 
Hi,

I wanted to chime in and mention to the forum just how much that I am enjoying working with Kent on the "design phase" of this project. We tend to focus on builds here on AGF because of the inherent beauty of the wood and the mastery of the luthiers craft. The design phase, which can be two-sided and collaborative process is hardly ever mentioned. I just wanted to state how much I am enjoying exchanging ideas and exploring applying this design theme to a guitar. Yes, in the end, there will be the build process (which I do look forward to) and I know It will produce a wonderful guitar for years to come. But I will always remember this portion of the process where ideas where exchanged and a common vision was developed by the collaborative builder/client journey that created it.

Back to my morning coffee.

Bob

CoolerKing 10-06-2013 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by matthewpartrick (Post 3607289)
They do remind me of that as well, very arts and crafts...


Slightly OT but great for those looking for inspiration:

WWw.stickleymuseum.org

A founder in the movement

iim7V7IM7 10-06-2013 09:54 AM

Thanks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by matthewpartrick (Post 3647704)
Slightly OT but great for those looking for inspiration:

WWw.stickleymuseum.org

A founder in the movement

I live about 30 minutes from it and used to be a "member"....

runamuck 10-06-2013 01:18 PM

Also, do some research on Green and Green architecture and furniture.


Jim McCarthy

iim7V7IM7 10-06-2013 01:41 PM

Absolutely, Greene & Greene Architects
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by runamuck (Post 3647887)
Also, do some research on Green and Green architecture and furniture.


Jim McCarthy

I used to live in Pasadena and I has visited the Gamble House many times.

runamuck 10-06-2013 05:27 PM

The Blacker House, Living Room Armchair incorporates just about
all Green and Green's design aesthetic.

If you haven't seen it, it might be helpful if you're interested in
Green and Green style at all.

Jim McCarthy


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