The Love Giver

Love Giver
Until very recently, this guitar only existed in a computer. Tim Schafer of Double Fine designed the guitar for his new video game Brutal Legend, but the Love Giver, as the guitar was dubbed, needed to exist as more than mere electrons, it needed to be touched by humans, and coaxed into shredding that which has not yet been shredded.
The guitar top was sculpted by Tim Miller in record time. Tim makes models for McFarlane Toys and Sideshow Collectibles, specializing in scupting heads. This clay sculpture was then sent to Jesse Lincoln at Sideshow Collectibles where they cast a replica of the original carving. These casts were sent to us to fit on the top of the guitars.
We made two complete guitars which were presented by Electronic Arts and Double Fine to Jack Black and Kyle Gass.
 inlay The Tenacious D inlay was done early in the construction process. We selected the proper font, did some redrawing magic to adpat the letters to the fingerboard and voila... instant typographic success! OK, maybe it wasn't instant, it took Mica a couple of hours to make the drawings and James quite a few more to cut all the letters by hand, then inlay them in the fingerboard.
 construction Here the body is firmly attached to the neck and the rough shape is cut. There's many miles to go 'till we're done.
 onlay For this sculpted detail, Kris made cool custom moulding that he fit just right around the shape with carefully mitred corners.
colors It was difficult to select the perfect colors for the Love Giver since by the nature of the sculpted detail, there was very little room for re-dos. There isn't anybody that would want to sand the wrong color off of this guitar. So we played with many shades of paint and painted many samples to gain the confidence we needed to apply color to the instrument.
spray Sealer coats over the wood and plastic cast. Ooooh - shiny!
spray 2 Flat black is the first color in this recipe. The back of the neck and peghead (and of course the fingerboard) were masked to preserve the natural Maple color.
spray3 Now for the gold! In Bob's experiments, Susan loved the more open spray pattern of the gold over black. The back of the guitar has this "scattered" gold while the ladies on the front are painted a little more solidly.

spray With a smaller airbrush, it's on with the Rowdy Rust color. Some facial and abdominal details are left purposefully thin to suggest a more scuplted look.

spray5 Susan's turn for fun! A brown "antiquing" glaze is applied over a lightly scuffed surface. This is painted on carefully and wiped of even more carefully.

spray6 Cotton gauze and cotton swabs were Susan's choice for blotting up the excess glaze. She put a little extra polish on the "prominent" portions of the scuplture. Some details were painted in by hand after the glazing process was completed.

peghead peghead
The peghead is carved by hand. Initially we were going to use the antiquing glaze on the peghead, but on the experimental pieces, the look wasn't enhanced, which is just a nice was of saying it was ugly. Other than the shape and a slightly thicker front plate to accomodate the carving details, this peghead is made just like any other on an Alembic instrument.
This was a fun and whirlwind project. We got to experiment with a variety of new techniques and collaborate with some great artists. And what a nice story that the Love Giver can make music as well as defeat evil in Brutal Legend.

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  • Love Giver Guitar
  • Maple top and back
  • Maple hollow core body
  • Maple and Walnut through body neck
  • Medium scale
  • 2 Alembic HG pickups
  • Controls: volume, filter, pickup selector switch
  • Maple fingerboard with custom "Tenacious D" inlay in black mother of pearl
  • Pagan Gold and Rowdy Rust finish
  • Made for Brutal Legend video game launch
featured custom

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Text and Photographs of guitar © 2009 Alembic, Inc.

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