Thursday, 24 September 2015

24.9.15 Guitar Made From Sherry Butt

The Gibson guitar factory in Tennessee established in 1894 has produced an electric guitar made from the wood from an old Sherry butt supplied by Osborne. The guitar, a model SG Custom first introduced in 1961, is similar to that once played by Frank Zappa, Angus Young, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana among other legends and has a terrific sound – and even still a slight smell of wine.

More than a century ago the trunks of American white oak arrived from the Appalachian Mountains as ship’s ballast at El Puerto de Santa María. For a hundred years the barrels made from the trunks have stored and improved the Sherry, until three years ago someone had the idea of giving the old wood a new lease of life, and the project was born.

The wood was sent back to close to its Appalachian origins: Nashville, Tennessee, home of the Gibson Custom Shop, “the factory of impossible things”, where they faced the long and difficult challenge of straightening out the wood. The result is beautiful with 14 carat gold plating, mother of pearl and with the Osborne logo as well as that of Gibson.  Only two have been made, and they were extremely expensive. One will be kept in Nashville and the other will go to El Puerto as an exhibit in the future Osborne museum along with the family art collection.

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