Here’s the official public Facebook page for Waukesha GuitarTown You can also follow the banter on Twitter @waukeshaguitar.
What follows are various updates I posted during the 6 weeks of work on the guitar:
The theme for my guitar is called “The Heart of it All,” because Waukesha was truly the heart of it all for Les Paul. He was born there and is buried there. The front of the guitar is radiating hearts from gold to red (like the Gibson sunburst finish) which will spill onto the back of the guitar. The back will also have an outline of Wisconsin and a special heart in the area of Waukesha.
The folks at Cream City Music were kind and helpful to me when I took my guitar in to measure how big the knobs, picks-ups, and plates are on a fully tricked out Gibson Les Paul. They actually treated me with respect rather than some crazy artist lady who brought in a naked guitar (which is how I felt!). The owners of the Stained Glass Studio of Milwaukee have also been wonderful while I ransacked their space looking for just the right color and texture of glass.
When the mosaic is done, the guitar will be shipped back to Gibson to have the electronics and strings installed, thus making it a playable guitar.
I am proud to be chosen, along with 19 other Wisconsin artists, to work my brand of artistic magic on a regular-sized Gibson guitar for a public art project in Waukesha. The 20 playable guitars will join ten other 10-foot tall guitars to form Gibson GuitarTown in downtown Waukesha WI, during the summer of 2012.
Other towns to be declared GuitarTowns by Gibson have included Austin, TX, Nashville, TN, and Orlando, Florida. You might be wondering “Why GuitarTown in Waukesha WISCONSIN?” Guitar legend Les Paul was born in Waukesha and is buried here. The “Wizard of Waukesha” nickname is synonymous with the electric guitar that bears his name – the Gibson Les Paul. What finer tribute to our local legend than to have his hometown declared a “GuitarTown?”
Grouting has begun . . . .I tape off all the areas I don’t want to get grout on or in. I grout and then remove the tape so I can continue on with another color of grout. Grouting will probably take two or three days because of the three different colors and the intricacy of applying it.I wore my 15 year old GIBSON sweatshirt for good luck! This is the back (gold hearts) being grouted in pale yellow.There is still a LOT of clean up before I hand it back to the Waukesha Guitartown folks, but the lions share of the work is done.*********April 11, 2012. It’s glassed, grouted, cleaned, sealed, and DONE. It now weighs in at 9.2 pounds (sans electronics and strings) and contains 2239 pieces of stained glass ( I DID count them), mirror, and some ball chain. It now goes to the organizers who will ship it back to Gibson for electronic parts and strings. I can’t wait to see it all tricked out in its final form. Thanks for sticking with me through its gestation and “birth.” I’ll update when it is returned from Gibson.May 12, 2012The Guitars are back from Gibson and they are all outrageously wonderful! They are fitted with all the electronics and strings. I took mine back home for a small repair and couldn’t believe how fabulous it looked fully finished. I’d love to post a photo, but I promised Guitartown Waukesha that I would wait until June 1st to splash my guitar all over my webpage. It weighed in at 10.4 pounds fully glassed and finished! When it was repaired and ready to go back, my husband plugged in his amp and had a little jam session on it. It plays beautifully and the sustain is bright and pronounced.