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this video is fender shop 1959 home movie

it appears like there is no dust collection, eye protection, and so forth.  there are people with basic talents repeating assembly-line style pieces to make a USA handmade guitar.  But they have a look and a feel that is highly sought after.  They have that “handmade” feel about them.

“handmade…”

I’ve always felt that handmade had to be made by the designer him/herself (leo fender for ex).

I’ve always thought handmade requires human hands with attention to a certain level of quality.

Although there are established definitions for handmade:

“made by hand, not by machine, esp with care or craftsmanship”

or

“made by an individual, rather than one made by mass production

i see “handmade” in the guitars that leo fender had his workers put together in that shop in 1959.  And note they were intended for “mass production.” And besides, machines are upgraded hand tools.  Hand tools with engines.

I’m dazzled to see an old home-movie style video like this because it shows people making things.  the same sorts of things I do with guitars and wood and leather and idea.  I push and pull the materials to make something that may one day hold deep personal value for someone, and with some luck, may be the tool through which real poetry and voice is given to generations of people down the line.  And people will enable that with their hands and there brains and their talents.

This video inspires in one sense because it is people turning one material into another.  Transformation of this earth-sandbox into forms which form human civilization.

ken parker just showed me a “gotoh stealthkey” / “gotoh stealth key” today…

the tuner was tiny and firm.  the turning tension was adjustable and the finish was smooth.

I was amazed how small it was while being precision.   Apparently a lot of fine and careful building went into, and it seemed like a tuner i’d like to try in one of my guitars.

any thoughts from you?

 

i got a hold of this squire recently and jumped onto it with fury.

layers of paint and gold leaf, redone neck, electronics, and a chance to try some new style tuners i really like to look of.

i ‘ve laminated suma-umma wood on the headstock and chose a solid brass bridge to anchor it down.

more picts to follow.

…i’ve chosen a set of smooth white pickups that totally complete the look of it all.

its a nice modification job that takes average and should make it great.

 

 

today i snapped a picture of these guitar straps.  always ready in case someone drops by or a buyer wants to see a spread of colors and options.

This evening in particular I finalized a another 12 straps that are entirely custom and unique: incorporating crocodile, alligator, fur, in colors like pink, glossy black, white, grey…

anyhow, its great to see some straps that have that rocker flair.  I’ve always dug that glam rocker glitz and flash… that “show-offy” stage equipment.  I cut my long hair off years ago, but i’ve still got the bug!  Some of these straps make me really excited to get them on stage.

If anyone out there has a similar aesthetic when it comes to guitar gear, let me know if you want to customize your stuff or make something new.

We’ve been selling these straps all over the world at this point and the color spread has grown to include several shades with a great feel.  I’m still surprised how different one piece of leather can be from the next; even if they have similar texture, or similar strength, the surface touch to the hand can be slick or waxy or fuzzed or warm or squishy.   Leather is really fantastic to work with.   Getting over the raw materials cost is the only hurdle…  after that I think its all about “luxury or death.”

That reminds me, there was a story i picked up from the late Mark MacCormack (pres of IMG, and an agent for musicians and athletes international, and more) in one of his many great books.  I think it was “On Managing.”  He tells a story about a lunch with the president of Rolex; Mark’s exec asks “how’s the watch business” the answer he gets back is “I have no idea…  Rolex is in the Luxury Business.”

That little story has several significant points but I’m asking us now, is Wallpusher just another guitar company?  Is it just a guitar accessory that Margot and I am sewing each day?  Or is it the now-cottage-industry which will become an established source of fine handmade goods for musicians that want gear that fits them personally and perfectly?  I want it to be the latter.

I wished as a kid that i could buy a guitar that just fit me like it was my own skin or underwear.  I wanted to know i had something to I could use freely without fighting it.   I was looking at the local music shops because this was 1987 and pre internet.  I got so frustrated that my friends and i were merely buying what we could find that i headed off to NYC to hoof around…  and it was there that i was playing several 12k basses and said to myself, “dude you can make this shit at home…”  That what i did…  i sat on the patio with my carving tools, and wallpusher basses were born.  I think i’d still like to own one of every style of instrument, but my goal has been to make a bass that just feels uh!   (you know what i mean?…   uh!   yeah!……   that’s it!)

this week, thanks to yet another custom order, we have a new teal leather for our guitar straps.

feels soft to the hand and very tough throughout.

 

this picture is of a “side”   that’s one 1/2 the cow hide.

its chrome tanned…  a chemical process that introduces properties like vivid color with increased softness.

 

this color and our other colors are becoming displayed currently on our ETSY shop page.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/wallpusher

here I am with a “wake up” late night 2 am after a long day of guitar making, guitar strap shipping, working on business plan and locating guitar part suppliers.  I am at last getting up to speed on all the accounts and passwords that wallpusher has.  I am also getting up to speed on this very important blog site.  This will be my first blog posting and i’m up for any feedback that can help me write about the things that interest you.   let me know.

 

here’s a little credit given to the person that has been through it all , who set up this blog and who has continued to support my desire to make fine instruments that meet our playing needs…

I have to give my highest credit to my beloved Margot.  She has been a backbone to all the work I have set out to do: turning trees into musical instruments…   or rather, into poems, music, voice, or community with others.

Making guitars is a great pleasure, but making a company is a different sort of work.  And I again thank Margot Garrity for all her hard work in providing the modest trail Wallpusher has established on the internet.

If anyone is still reading after a one year gap I sincerely hope that we can become better familiar with each other from here on in.

I’ll now carry the torch Margot lit for us a while back, and I hope to gain your feedback as we respond to some of the things going on in the music world, and some of the things going on here in our workshop.

Most Sincerely,    Matthew Rogers  (owner and creator of every guitar and strap here at wallpusher)

-post script:  if your comments or needs want to reach me asap, email me at INFO@WALLPUSHER.COM.

if you meet this girl she deserves a serious handshake

This is crazy fast playing. Should become an olympic sport.

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