LEWIS GUITARS | Dream Feather
This guitar was made specifically for a customer in New Jersey through the facilitation of Richard Glick of Fine Guitar Consultants.

The basis for this guitar is the 17” carved archtop cutaway D’Angelico Excel, and evolved from there to this physical manifestation of images, ideas, dreams and visions.

Construction began with the selection of materials, which were chosen from a comprehensive inventory, primarily selected for tonal acoustic response but with cosmetic qualities also very important. The top wood is some bear claw figured sitka spruce that responded more vigorously to testing than any of the other master grade billets. It was more difficult to carve than straight grained wood due to the bearclaw figure.

The back, sides, and neck are European maple, chosen for light weight, acoustic response, and slightly subdued yet dreamy figure.

To blend the colors of the sitka spruce, which is reddish golden brown, with dreamy creamy maple I chose some dark red brown koa that would coordinate with the spruce and provide the contrast for the maple. I think it worked will to unite an unusual combination of woods. The fingerboard, finger rest, and tailpiece are black ebony, and the bridge is very dark Brazilian rosewood.

The feather motif is from a particularly vivid visualization and I have used it as a design on my better instruments. On the headstock, the pearl feather with gold border lays slightly over the logo boxes to create a sense of depth and layers. On the fingerboard the pearl highlights partial outline of the feather. The sound holes also echo the shape as the pattern is repeated. Finally, on the tailpiece, the image is once more repeated in black on black.

The position markers along the bass side of the fingerboard are gold circles filled with malachite, a beautiful green mineral to contrast the red/brown of the koa binding.

The Waverly machines are a favorite of mine for their precision, light weight, and appearance. These are gold plated and have snakewood buttons, chosen for the good color match with the koa binding. The back of the headstock is triple veneered black, maple, black, and has an art deco pearl inlay.

The woods of this guitar play beautifully in reflected light. There is just enough run out in the top and back to show the “harlequin” effect so opposing areas light up as the instrument moves. The bearclaw figure jumps to life then recedes as the light changes on it. The dream like figure of the back lights up as it is rolled in the light, and disappears as if into a fog at the edges.

Good structural materials, good structural design, and added carbon fiber neck reinforcement allow this guitar to be both lightweight and strong. This is partly why it is so acoustically responsive. It also utilizes good acoustic design. McFadden nitro lacquer covers the body and the headstock, while the shaft of the neck as been treated with Deft Danish Oil finish and 1000 grit paper. The finish on the neck should feel like no finish at all, but more like smooth bare skin.

Michael A Lewis, (530) 272-4124,
Spring Ranches Rd., Grass Valley, CA