Patience Mark knows a thing or two about patience. He had to wait for about a year for this guitar. The first one we started we mistakenly installed side LEDs, which he didn't want. So that project was finished for another person and we crafted a fresh new guitar for Mark.
Then on that second guitar, a defect in the neck wood was revealed when we carved the heel. That neck had to be cut off and a new one built. Our morale was at a low, but Mark's understanding cheered us up again. After he saw the new neck in place, he also gave this guitar the name "Patience."
Along with the second neck, there was also a blessing from Mark's wife to "get those custom inlays" on the fingerboard that he was contemplating. So Mica and Mark got the particulars sorted out for the phases of the moon fingerboard inlays.
Indeed, all good things come to those who wait.
Medallion inlay This inlay surely receives lots of the visual attention directed toward the guitar. Susan's sketch looked simple, but James can tell you that all those little saw-tooth cuts are difficult and time-consuming.
The inlay is done in abalone inside a circle of black Ebony. We kept it smaller than some other medallion inlays we've done, and without any binding at the edge. Mark said he "wished to 'honour' the planet's most valuable renewable resource, not to mention the planet's safest drug," by including this inlay on Patience.
logo and bolt Mark had also requested a lightning bolt inlay on the peghead face. At first it was going to be larger, but after evaluating it, James suggested we make it small enough to cut from a single piece of shell, so there wouldn't be any seams and the shape would be the feature on which the viewer would focus their attention.
bird's-eye maple Bird's-eye Maple is such a great wood. Nice and dense, it yields amazing high-end response. Besides that, it's hard to deny that the figure is drop-dead gorgeous.
When we get lucky, we find pieces like this one with a wealth of large bird's-eye clusters littered over a field of gentle quilts. When you see it in person, and can move it in the light, it almosts breathes.
Usually highly figured Bird's-eye Maple has streaky mineral deposits. This one is nice and clear, with just a few of the dark spots typical for this wood.
inlays These phases of the moon inlays are done in both white mother of pearl and Tahitian black mother of pearl. The new moon at the first fret is all the black pearl. Most of the other inlays are a mixture of the two colors of pearl.
inlays As we travel down the fingerboard, the inlays get proportionally smaller, to keep them in scale with the fret space, after all they are still position markers. At the 12th fret, we've got the full moon in white mother of pearl.

inlays Smaller and smaller, and downright tiny, these little phases of the moon finish up the sequence back to new moon at the 24th fret in all black Tahitian mother of pearl.
It's such a nice concept, simple and elegant, starting and ending with the new moon and the full moon at the center.
Peghead Peghead back
We traditionally use Ebony as the face veneer for the peghead on a Further guitar. It extends the blackness of the Ebony fingerboard and looks really sharp. It's also a great background for the sterling silver inlaid logo with mother of pearl and abalone and Mark's custom bolt inlay.
For the back of the peghead, Dan made a custom veneer to match the back body laminate.
After waiting and watching, last December Mark finally got to play Patience. He told us, "What a guitar! She is so far beyond anything I've played in the past. I've given my old strat to my nephew (he's the only guitar-playing relative I have) because I'll never play it again after experiencing a Further. The only problem I have is in selecting which 'killer tone' to use - there's so many different ones. I really love the sound of two pick ups: one with the filter fully clockwise, the other with the filter fully counter-clockwise. Incredible lows and incredible highs together!
"To say this is easily the most beautiful guitar I've ever seen (even Jerry's!), I can offer no higher praise than to state the visual beauty is completely eclipsed by the sonic beauty. And your instruments would still be worth it if they cost twice as much.
"Thanks to everyone at Alembic again."
Mark, we thank you for your patience in this project and hope that your Patience will enjoy many long years with you.

Front Back


  • Further 6-string guitar
  • Bird's-eye Maple top and back
  • Purpleheart body core
  • Maple and Purpleheart accent laminates
  • Custom "Phases of the Moon" fingerboard inlays
  • Custom "Bolt" inlay on peghead
  • Custom "Leaf" medallion inlay
  • Continuous wood backplates
Sold by: American Guitar Centre and Bassworld
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Text and Photographs of guitar © 2006 Alembic, Inc.
Original artwork © 2005 Susan L. Wickersham
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