Meet the man harvesting guitars from the bones of New York City buildings

Carmine Street Guitars in New York City is one of the most unique guitar stores I’ve ever seen. Where most manufacturers of the instrument look to harvesting their wood from the ever-dwindling natural supplies of species like rosewood, maple, ash and alder, Rick Kelly, the store’s owner and luthier, is looking a little closer to home for his materials.

Carmine Guitars NYC

Meet Rick Kelly of Carmine Street Guitars in New York City – the man harvesting wood for his instruments from the bones of old NYC buildings.

Kelly harvests his wood from recycled materials that were once used as structural elements in NYC buildings – the guitars he builds were literally once part of New York City landmarks.

In this excellent mini-doco by Great Big Story, Kelly explains that the instruments he makes are made from reclaimed lumber that he finds himself, with some of the wood being from trees up to 200 years old. “Most of the wood is being thrown away,” he explains, “so I just dumpster dive for it.”

His illustrious list of customers include Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Roger Waters, Patti Smith and Steely Dan. A true craftsman, every guitar Kelly builds has a history and no two instruments look the same.

Watch the short doco below.

[via Great Big Story]