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I’ve been thinking about the rosette for this guitar. The traditional rosette on a classical guitar is a repeating mosaic pattern made up of thin strips of differently coloured woods often less than a millimetre square in size. It’s an elaborate and painstaking business to make and, though it’s heresy to say so, I’ve never thought that the results were  very exciting. The pattern is just too fine to be appreciated, or even noticed, more than a couple of feet away. Besides, it’s too contrived, too finicky, too far removed from any function.

Trying to find a simpler and visually bolder solution I’ve been experimenting with inlays of saw cut veneer and you can see the results below. The rosette on the left is made out of laburnum by slicing a sector-shaped log containing both sapwood and heartwood across the grain, and arranging the slices in order around the sound hole. The one in the middle is made in the same way but using yew rather than laburnum – another wood with a striking contrast between sapwood and heartwood. On the right, the rosette is made of spalted crab-apple but orientated to display long grain, not end grain.

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Click on thumbnails for an enlarged view.

I’m inclining towards using spalted crab-apple for the rosette of this guitar too. The creamy colour should make a striking contrast with the sandy colour of the cedar top that I intend to use. In a previous guitar, I carried the theme a bit further by using spalted crab-apple veneer for the headstock – an idea which might work with this guitar too.

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One Comment

  1. Very nice write-up. I definitely appreciate this website.
    Keep it up!


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. By More about rosettes « Finely Strung on 30 Apr 2008 at 6:40 pm

    […] A new guitar means a new decision about what rosette it should have. I’ve written about my views on rosettes before, so I’ll just say that my preference is for designs that are bold and simple over those that […]

  2. […] reasons that I’ve discussed before, I like the visual effect of rosettes made by inlaying wood with contrasting colours or a striking […]

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