STRINGS & THINGS

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I love guitars! Banjos, mandolins, violins, viola de gambas! Not only do I get to photograph the musicians that make music on these amazing stringed creations, but I also get to work with the especially talented, thoughtful and gifted folks that design and build the instruments that allow musicians to make the noise that we call MUSIC! I recently had the opportunity to document a few of the latest guitars from Pennsylvania luthier Matt Artinger and some stunning banjos from Beltsville, Maryland based Kevin Enoch! Not only are these amazingly beautiful bits of musical eye candy, but they all sound as good as they look. photo Artinger Guitar  photo copyright Michael G. Stewart37.jpg photo Artinger Feb. 2014 copyright photo Michael G Stewart087.jpg photo a blogEnoch Banjos photo copyright Michael G. Stewart110.jpg photo a blogEnoch Banjos photo copyright Michael G. Stewart009.jpg photo a blogEnoch Banjos photo copyright Michael G. Stewart008.jpg photo Artinger Feb. 2014 copyright photo Michael G Stewart105.jpg photo a blogEnoch Banjos photo copyright Michael G. Stewart012.jpg photo a blogEnoch Banjos photo copyright Michael G. Stewart020.jpg photo Artinger Guitar  photo copyright Michael G. Stewart88.jpg
My personal favorite- “The Tokyo Rosie” but, then again, it would be! I got to lend a small hand in the design of this one- Billy Gibbons, eat your heart out! ( now I just need some folks to play with- )

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ARTINGER CUSTOM GUITARS

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I am so very fortunate to be able to make a meager living doing something I love, creating compelling images of the world around me, and at no time am I so blessed than when I have the opportunity to work with master luthier, Matt Artinger. For several years I have made the trip from the Washington, D.C. area up to the quiet Pennsylvania town of Emmaus to document the unique and striking creations issuing from Matt’s workshop. The beauty and diversity of his instruments, be it guitar, bass, mandolin or whatever else his wicked mind and talented hands devise is always a surprise and a treat to photograph…. and to play! If you are ever of the mind to own a one of a kind extension of your own musical vision, Matt is certainly the man to see. Here is a small sample from our latest photo session. To see more, visit the website or the dedicated photo blog!Photobucket

GARY FLOWERS GUITARS

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What a stunning bit of the luthier’s art! One of my favorite moments behind the camera is when I get to make another artist’s work come alive in the two dimensional world that I inhabit… and share it with an appreciative audience. Here is a bit of wood and metal from Baltimore guitar builder Gary Flowers that just makes the eyes water from the sheer intensity of the figuring in the wood. A real beauty! Not only that, but it sounds superb! There’s a guitarist out there today who’s experiencing quite a special musical moment. Enjoy!
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Looks fabulous coming and going!
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Artinger Guitar Shoot

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One of the great joys I’ve experienced over the past several years is working with Master Luthier Matt Artinger. I met Matt back in 2001 when he was still a teenager building guitars in his parent’s basement. The quality and craftsmanship of the first instrument I bought from him convinced me he was a talent to be reckoned with, and now, 10 years later, he has lived up to all expectations- and more! The artistry & sheer build quality go hand in hand to produce instruments worthy of craftsmen twice his age.
A testament to his growing reputation within the custom guitar community is the recent inclusion of his work in the coffee table book by guitar authority Robert Shaw, Electrified: The Art of The Contemporary Electric Guitar. I’ve been photographing the major pieces coming out of Matt’s shop for the past four or five years, and I’m proud to say that several of my images were featured in the book. Nothing is more beautiful than the sensuous curves and deep, glowing wood textures that grace these guitars. Every one is a work of art, and, to top it all off- they play like a dream! The marriage of form and function is truly a marvel.
We average 3-5 photo sessions a year, depending on Matt’s output, and each trip to Pennsylvania is always capped by a visit to one of the many classic diners that are on the route to his workshop. Be sure to take a look at the Artinger website, and the image blog of these fine instruments that I maintain. Better yet, give Matt a call and place an order for YOUR custom guitar.
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