Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Catch up with Scott - Blogging Attempt v1.0

Greetings fellow guitar players, luthiers and everyone in between!

This is the first real post in a new blog that I hope to update with at least some kind or regularity. For the many new people (I hope) that aren't familiar with my work, my name is Scott French. I learned the basics of my craft at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in 2003 and continued my education under Kelly Butler while apprenticing at Boston's First Act Custom Shop. In 2004 I returned home to Northern California and began work on my own line of instruments.

Between 2004 and 2007 I built and worked on many instruments for some great players across the country. I put a lot of time into developing my own style and refining what elements of instruments and design are most important to me. The matrix of rules that have come to define my work are constantly evolving, but the bulk of the development occurred between 2006 and 2007. I plan on sharing many of these rules and ideas in future blog entries. Keep an eye out for posts on overall instrument design, neck construction, wood selection, and other topics I feel have differentiated my instruments throughout the years. I may even pass on some photo tips although honestly all you really need is a camera, some time, and the wonderful BunnyBass Instrument Photography Tutorial published many years ago by Jon Shishido and currently hosted by Liutaio Mottola.

As 2007 wound down it became obvious I wouldn't be able to live the life I wanted to live on the money I was bringing in with guitar building. Instead of taking on more repair work I decided to go back to the computer world that treated me so well at the start of my career. I stopped taking orders and by February 2008 I had found a full time job. The guitar shop was temporarily shut down although work never completely stopped. By the middle of 2010 I had accomplished most of the goals that seemed impossible while building guitars. I paid down all the debt incurred while getting the guitar shop off the ground, found a wonderful woman, bought a house and settled into a great local job. In this off time I also started eating a vegan diet. This new lifestyle helped me reach some health related goals but also changed my perspective on many aspects of life. These changes coupled with enduring a guitar and guitar parts market almost completely ruled by imported products has me energized and looking forward to reentering the scene with new ideas and goals.

For the past few months I've been focusing on getting the shop back in order and starting several new projects. The most interesting is the SF3co line of eco-friendly guitars. These green instruments are being built using FSC Certified, recycled and rescued materials whenever possible. I've also made it a priority to source as many USA made parts as possible. I'm experimenting with alternate materials including new natural oils, a homebrew soy/carnauba wax blend to replace beeswax and PaperStone® to replace ebony for fingerboards. Ebony is an imported hardwood that's availability and quality will only decrease in the future. PaperStone® is Made in the USA using recycled newsprint, is FSC certified, extremely dense and looks/feels great. Expect posts on these topics as things develop.

Historically scottfrench.com has been the sole source of information related to my instruments. It will continue to be the official homepage with updates coming in the following months. As of 2010 I am also spreading things around. The SF3co project has a Facebook Page, The Gear Page is hosting an exclusive thread revealing The New SF6 Using Macro Photography, and I even setup a Twitter Account that I intending on putting to use as soon as I figure out what it is good for. This blog will serve as the lighter side of things with more progress photos, tutorials, weird projects and tips. I invite you to follow along as 2011 looks to be a great year for Scott French Musical Instruments.

Scott French @ Flickr
SF3co @ Facebook
GuitarsByScott @ Twitter

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