A few weeks ago I had a day off in my busy travel schedule in Phoenix and I was looking for something to do. It was too hot to be outside much at over 105 F, so I remembered that I had seen an add at the airport for an exhibition called "Dragons and Vines: Inlaid Guitar Masterpieces" at the Musical Instrument Museum. So I headed over!
I could not have been more impressed with MIM and the Dragons and Vines special exhibition. I had my small travel camera with me, but only one battery for it and I shot it out of power!
Over the few months I will post some of my pictures and discuss the process of inlay and the balance between art and technology to make this beautiful art repeatable and available.
This image is the third of the Paul Reed Smith Guitars Dragon Series. PRS created 100 of these limited edition guitars in 1994 and this is serial number 2. The inlay on the "Dragon III" guitar was designed by the renowned graphic artist Jeff Easley of the popular fantasy role-playing game "Dungeons & Dragons". The inlay design is composed of 438 individual pieces, and in addition to its complexity, the design makes extensive use of gold in the inlay as well as several varieties of semiprecious stones. Tightly fitted pieces of different shells create subtle lines in the dragon's face.
If you are in Phoenix, the Dragons and Vines exhibition runs through September 4, 2017. But if you miss it, the entire museum is well worth your time for a visit. It has instruments from all over the world as well as children's exhibits.