The Dragon's Wing (a fairy tale)

The Dragon's Wing Once there was a boy named Roger who dreamed of a buzzard bass like his hero. So he called the elves at Alembic to perform this noble deed. Alembic not wanting to mimic another bass, began intense design. The more steps to change the art, the more evident it was that the bass that was really needed was one we had already designed.
Thus Susan, the head elf, pulled out her drawings from the previous year earmarked for the hero, John Entwistle. It wasn't long before Roger approved of the design. It seemed a natural match for the Chinese Dragon inlay, paired on a bass with a dragon's wing for a body and a dragon's claw for the peghead.
View the Dragon's Wing as a whole for a moment and feel how every aspect of the design exudes a harmony of form and function. Pay particular attention to how the wood chosen looks as if it grew from the contours and was not inhibited by the addition of hardware and electronics. Thus myth and thought combined with artistry and dedication brought Rogers fantasy to reality. Are you watching John?
logo inlay The luster of the white mother of pearl in the cloud seemingly floats behind the sterling silver while the swirls of abalone reminds one of the mists surrounding the Avalon of legend. So therefore the gaurdian dragon encircles the mist along with the Alembic in his eternal search for knowledge.
Dragon's Claw peghead Susan designed the Dragon's Claw peghead to coordinate with the Dragon's Wing body shape. The claw gives the impression of the Dragon extending his reach beyond the limits of the fingerboard, ready to ensnare those elusive notes. The carved bevel on the lower edge of the peghead balances the varied colors of the peghead with those of the body. The Shop Elves were well pleased on that carving day.
peghead Take a closer look at the contour on the peghead. The layers of Walnut and Maple veneers provide the strength, the structure provides the beauty, and the Coco Bolo encourages the "gasp!"
lower horn Beveled contouring on the lower horn gives an organic feel to this part of the bass that represents the Dragon's shoulder where the wing develops. You can almost feel Tony's expert carving.
hook Beautiful deep beveling lends dimension to the Dragon's Wing. It is not meant only to delight the eye but to animate the wing's structure as if it were unfurled and preparing to take flight.
tailpiece Like a gathering at Arthur's round table, there was much discussion regarding what kind of tailpiece should be used. The original request of the bird tailpiece was when the bass was buzzard-like in style. But the elf Susan, wanting no detail unnoticed (for example see Dragon's Wing backplate and deep carving on the back view), had Mike design a new shape that would unite all the elements of the front into one magical entity. In the natural order, a Dragon surely would have dominion over a mere buzzard.
knobs Another Roger enters our tale from THG knobs. The two Rogers designed these fabulous maple knobs crowned in snakewood with 14k and 10k gold accents.
Dragon's breath Black Tahitian mother of pearl pours from the Dragon's mouth as if the druid Merlin himself were calling forth the Dragon's Breath to perform feats of magic and daring to alter the destinies of mere mortals.
Dragon's face Gaping jaws of mother of pearl and green/blue paua shell surround a mouth lined in deep blood red pearloid and framed by Dragon's teeth of antique ivory announce he will defend his territory. His eyes of flashing faceted green sapphires are set in an agoya shell face with sterling silver horns bespeak the fierce determination of the Dragon's might. All this followed by his green figured abalone upper body and lighter flamed abalone underbelly.
Dragon's wing The body continues in like fashion with legs made of green abalone heart giving the texture of a reptilian skin with sterling silver claws and heel spurs. It's here where the Dragon Wing begins somewhat furled in golden agoya shell membranes with sterling silver spines accentuated by thin ebony veneers, waiting to unleash his power with the plucking of the strings.
Dragon's tail loop The body continues in the green/blue paua shell writhing through the frets in anticipation of the first notes to vibrate.
Dragon's tail tip Thus our tale ends literally with the sterling silver arrow tail spike pointing towards the pickups, waiting to be plugged in and brought to life.
Designer: Susan Wickersham
Inlay artist: Mike Gutsch
peghead detail peghead back Dragon's eyes Lower horn
Front Back


  • Dragon's Wing 4-string bass
  • Chinese Dragon inlay
  • Coco Bolo top
  • Coco Bolo back
  • Dragon's Wing body shape
  • Dragon's Claw peghead shape
  • Polyester finish with satin neck feel
  • Custom control layout
  • Dragon's Wing tailpiece
  • Side LEDs in red
  • Inlaid logo with shell
  • Price available on request
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