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William "Grit" Laskin makes technically innovative guitars with jaw-dropping inlay. Why shouldn't he be happy?
Much to Canada’s credit, its government officially recognizes a broad range of national heroes each year, from all walks of life, by inducting them into the Order of Canada.
Turns out anyone can make a historic contribution to the country and its national values, from business innovators to epidemiologists to chiropractors and guitar makers, like the amazing William “Grit” Laskin, of Toronto. He was recognized for his revolutionary and masterful lutherie, as well as his contributions as a musician and promoter of folk music in Canada. He was interviewed about the award, and I especially like his advice for young people: “Look less at a screen and more at the world. Stop thinking you have to document everything that happens in your life, instead of just experiencing the moment without being a distanced observer of it.”
The pictures here can’t possibly sum up the genius of this man. To get a fuller effect, go to to Laskin’s fine web site, or just listen to the man himself:
The more I dug into YouTube, the more amazed I became. Here is beautifully produced interview with Laskin from when he won the Saidye Bronfman Award, Canada’s highest award for fine craft. It is worth watching for the music alone.
Laskin called this guitar, simply, Blue.
Laskin's innovations include beautifully beveled edges for comfort.
The inlay always continues down the fretboard. This guitar celebrates the life of Louis Armstrong.
Laskin uses all the woods of the world. Check out the bookmatched sapwood in this Brazilian rosewood.
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Awesome photos! Thanks for sharing. I have always found his inlay work to be very inspiring. Sure is challenging though!
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In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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