Monday, December 14, 2015
Ed Stilley interview, 2013
Yesterday, I was able to attend a concert and book signing celebrating the guitars and musical instruments made by Ed Stilley. His guitars violated nearly every rule in the luthier's book. He used all the wrong woods and ignored nearly all the common techniques. Inside his guitars and violins you will find springs, and rods, sawblades and chain saw sprockets, all connected to convey vibration from the neck. Inside the neck below the third fret, he placed an invention of his own that he called "the jingler." It was a small metal part that was intended to make the neck rod vibrate thus creating extra resonance. His instruments are heavy, weighted down, first by his choice of dense woods like walnut and oak and then by the load of metal parts he put inside. His frets were often misplaced, as he knew nothing about the math involved, and marked their placement in pencil and cut them in place using a two bladed hacksaw. As a result, many of his instruments are difficult to play.
But they were made with love and given free. I'm not sure what more needs be said.
Today our Clear Spring School kids will deliver the toys they have made to our local food bank for holiday distribution.
Make, fix, create, and extend to others the opportunity to learn likewise.