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Andamento Guitar

This my Andamento model: it's the most visually and technically complex work I've yet done. Instead of working with mother-of-pearl and abalone as most luthiers do, though, I've gone out of my way to decorate with wood mosaics. In mosaic work the term for each piece of material is Tessera (plural: tesserae). Andamento is the word used to describe the movement and flow of Tesserae.

In lutherie-level mosaic work there is normally one pattern that is created, and it is used over and over again. This guitar is noteworthy in that its back and sides inlaid with ten different mosaic pattern tiles, connected by a latticework of black-white-black purfling lines. Also, the inlays are micromosaic tiles. Each one is fourteen tesserae long on a side, and each tile comprises of 196 separate pieces of wood, not counting the borders -- and they are half the size of a dime in spite of that. Despite of their smallness of scale, they are perfectly executed.

The guitar face is decorated with its own distinct mosaic pattern, also mostly in black and white, but with some red highlights. Counting it, this guitar sports almost two hundred mosaic tiles of eleven different patterns.

The sides of the guitar are differently inlaid than the back is: for the entire guitar to have been treated in the same way would resulted in a design that is too busy and unimaginative. This combination of different back and side work was carefully thought out: each part complements the other in color, line value, proportion, and general aesthetic.



The back-of-neck-inlay, peghead, soundhole rosette, and ebony bridge are likewise thought out so as to be compatible with the other parts of the guitar and its overall black-white motif. The Andamento guitar is, I believe, a masterpiece of black/white mosaic inlay design.


The materials this guitar are made of are Brazilian rosewood, ebony, Honduras mahogany, maple, and various decorative veneers. The face is Sitka spruce. Far from being inferior to European spruce as is commonly thought, well-selected Sitka is every bit as good a tonewood and in some ways better; it is unrivaled for warmth of sound. The tuners are Rodgers brand: hand-made and hand-engraved sterling silver with snakewood buttons.


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