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Old 10-08-2020, 03:08 AM
RosieTGC RosieTGC is offline
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Default A Swiss Moon/Brazilian Mahogany Turnstone TM model for Martin Simpson

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all well. You may have seen some posts about my work (Turnstone Guitars) in the past but I am very happy and excited to attempt my own build thread on the AGF for the first time! I’m really excited about this project and thought you might be interested in joining me on the journey…..

The projects on my bench always excite me for different reasons; perhaps because I’m working with a new timber or colour scheme, or perhaps because it is to test a new sonic direction. With one of the TM’s residing on my bench at the moment, the excitement comes from the guitar’s end destination; into the hands of the legendary Martin Simpson.

I first met Martin in 2017 when Martin’s tour manager and mutual friend, Terry, was visiting the workshop to spec out his own Turnstone. Terry brought Martin along to the workshop with him, and he tried a Turnstone for himself…



Martin has always been interested in lutherie as a craft, wanting to drive the industry forward with his support and constructive criticism, and so I was delighted when Martin offered to give me feedback on Turnstone guitars. I took him up on this offer earlier this year, and I sent him a TM in old growth Brazilian Mahogany, twinned with an Alpine spruce top. I asked that his appraisal be honest and, if necessary, as brutal as possible. However, what he returned back with was enough to make any luthier blush, as he seemed to have fallen in love with the instrument that I’d spent the last few months crafting. He mentioned that the guitar had allowed him to do things he had never done before, that he was enamoured with the Brazilian mahogany from the moment he set eyes on it, and that he very much wanted a Turnstone of his own. Here is a video of Martin playing this very guitar...

https://www.facebook.com/13918861279...92795491878738


On top of this madness, this guitar was suddenly on the cover of his new upcoming album (juxtaposed with Martin himself, as well as a surprised cat – a fabulous image)...



I knew we had to recreate the guitar if it had been good enough to go on his album cover, and to have earned the wonderful things he said about it when given a free pass for unabashed criticism. I couldn’t give him the guitar itself as it was destined for another wonderful client of mine, but after all, this meant I could get creative when getting to know Martin and changing certain aspects in accordance with his needs. Primarily, we are looking to recreate the excitement Martin felt when his hands first graced the fretboard.



When it came to specifying woods for Martin’s TM, we decided upon the same old growth Brazillian Mahogany twinned with some gorgeous Alpine ‘Moon’ Spruce that I had tucked away for something special. We kept the neck wood the same too, some flamed sycamore to tie the colour scheme together nicely.



Aside from his musical prowess of course, one thing about Martin that I really couldn’t ignore was his obvious love for the natural world. I thought this perhaps could be one of the things I could incorporate aesthetically into this project to make it unique and special for him. I settled upon a spalted beech motif, as I feel that spalted woods reflect the rich tapestry of pattern, texture and variation that mother nature can exhibit; as you can see from the rosette...



During a recent phone conversation with Martin, he also divulged that he loved English oak; another opportunity for me to incorporate personalised touches into his new guitar. Subsequently I will use a subtle strip of English oak within my binding scheme, which I think will be a nice way to acknowledge Martin’s aesthetic input and make the build as collaborative as possible.



At this moment in time, I am shaping the braces on the top. I will post another update as soon as the guitar starts taking more of a stride towards completion; but meanwhile I will crack on and leave this here for you all to give your thoughts on. Thank you all!

Last edited by RosieTGC; 12-13-2020 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:09 AM
Nahil.R Nahil.R is offline
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Congrats! Beautiful work!
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Old 10-08-2020, 08:51 AM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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What fabulous news! Martin is one of my favorite players. I am so glad that you decided to do a build thread here and share the wonderful clips and the process of the beautiful work that you do. Yay!!

Best,
Jayne
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Old 10-08-2020, 10:10 AM
Nemoman Nemoman is offline
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Congrats--it really looks wonderful so far!

Thanks for sharing--an exciting first build thread for sure!
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Old 10-08-2020, 10:35 AM
Edbuff Edbuff is offline
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I have one of Rosie’s guitars and I can attest that she does a wonderful job. A true artist.
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Old 10-08-2020, 12:29 PM
Treenewt Treenewt is offline
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Rosie, what a great story! Thanks for sharing the story and the build process with us!
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:05 PM
dennisczech dennisczech is offline
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Gotta say the sound of that instrument that he's noodling on is really really good. I'm not surprised he fell in love...one of the most pleasing tones I've heard in a while, a great combination of sweetness, clarity and body. Well done for a seductive creation!
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:09 PM
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This will be an interesting and inspirational journey to follow!
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:10 PM
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I love learning hearing the back stories. This is delightful and I am looking forward to seeing the guitar take shape. At the end, I hope we get to hear about his reaction to this guitar. Thanks for taking us on the journey!
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Old 10-08-2020, 05:26 PM
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Rosie, I have heard nothing but great things about your guitars especially from MW! Congrats on this really great build. Martin has great taste from what I can tell lol!
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Old 10-08-2020, 09:08 PM
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Awesome, awesome story! Love it! Will follow you and this build as you move creatively forward with this heirloom instrument. Thanks!
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Old 10-09-2020, 02:09 AM
Cams Cams is offline
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I’m looking forward to following this build Rosie. Thanks for sharing it on your socials. I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise!
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Old 10-09-2020, 04:23 AM
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Lovely to see a guitar coming together with such a great story attached. And that rosette is fabulous!

Thanks so much for posting, Rosie.
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Old 10-09-2020, 05:07 AM
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A back story, fantastic woods, superb builder and incredible destination. What's not to love. Really appreciate you taking on a thread. I'm excited to follow along.
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Old 10-09-2020, 05:49 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Great story and pics, Rosie. Beautiful rosette. Thanks for sharing with us and I look forward to watching the progress.
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Tags
mahogany, martin simpson, moon spruce, turnstone guitars, uk luthier

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