With 50 pounds of salt, Burls Art handcrafted an Esquire-inspired guitar. It’s his wildest concept yet.
An old Polish proverb reads “without salt the feast is spoiled”. Northern Californian luthier extraordinaire, Burls Art, has taken that sentiment to the extreme with his latest custom build.
If you thought every eccentric angle of the guitar had already been explored, here’s one made out of goddamn salt. It looks great, and surprisingly, sounds even better. But, you might not want to take it out on tour.
Burls Art has already gifted the world some inventive ideas on unconventional guitar manufacturing. A year ago, he made a guitar from a shovel that just screamed rock and roll. Then there was an acoustic guitar made out of carbon fibre that was as lush-sounding as it was practical. And after witnessing the birth of the pencil guitar, you probably thought we hit the peak of quirky musical offerings. Wrong.
From a 50-pound slab of salt, Burls Art managed to handcraft a classic looking guitar that was, in his own words, “easily one of my toughest guitar builds yet.”‘
After slicing the slab down the middle to create a foundation for the body to be carved out of, a layer of epoxy became a crucial ingredient in holding it all together. His first challenge came when drilling the first string hole in the back — the salt under the epoxy cracked. Slow and steady would prove the only way to go.
And a slow process it certainly was. Due to the wear that salt inflicts on metal equipment, he spent several hours cleaning his tools after using them. But it was worth it in the end.
Burls Art pointed out that “the most minuscule amounts of moisture will cause the guitar to blemish”. Sweaty hands touching the body made this guitar more of a challenge to assemble, so it won’t be gifted to Angus Young any time soon.
The final product has a Fender Esquire-inspired look with a single bridge pickup (he didn’t want the body to lose strength with the addition of a neck pickup). Weighing roughly 10 kilograms, the salty axe is more museum piece than touring workhorse, but that’s not to say that it’s lacking sonically.
Watch its creation below and follow Burls Art on Instagram.