Owl "Hey, Mica. Would you mind staying late at work tonight? My guitar teacher from the northwest is playing in Petaluma tonight, and he'd love to come up to see the shop." This call is how my friend Starfinder introduced me to Scott Law. With no other plans, I was happy to stay to greet Scott and show him around. I tried hard to get him out well before showtime, but even after a brief visit, he was planning his custom guitar and we were enjoying a prerelease copy of his CD Deliver.
He spoke with Susan shortly after and they got the specifications in order. As a touring musician, he found his way to our area a few times before, during, and after construction, so he was able to participate in lots of decisions firsthand, like the selection of his Coco Bolo top where he and I spent an afternoon digging through piles of wood. Covered in dust, the perfect piece revealed itself.
Fingerboard inlay
Fingerboard inlay
Fingerboard inlay
James inlaid these pre-cut abalone inlays in the Ebony fingerboard. Scott had seen them before and requested we purchase them for his guitar. Even though the shell is precut, there's still the hard work of cutting the fingerboard away and setting the shell in place.
Just like when James cuts the shell, he places the cut shell on the fingerboard and scribes a line for its final position. The more intricate the perimeter, the more time it takes to make the precision recess.
Knot inlay The shrivatsa is without beginning or end, and reminds the bearer of the interconnectivity of all things. Cause and effect are in an everlasting loop, their paths crossing and recrossing, until achieving balance, symbolized in the symmetry of the shape. Scott will no doubt cause a blissful effect on those who hear his music on this guitar.
James inlaid the Tibetan knot in abalone shell on an Ebony oval.
Inlaid logo with shell Inlaid sterling silver logo with mother of pearl and abalone. Scott ordered this guitar with a Coco Bolo front veneer instead of the standard issue Ebony. His thought was that since the back was a Maple view, the front should be a Coco Bolo view. Good call, we like it too!
Owl Inlay Starfinder wanted to suprise Scott so he called Susan and ordered this snowy owl inlay for the back of the peghead. Susan drew up the design originally with some scrimshaw technique to suggest the feathers on the wings, but I remembered a special piece of shell that did it naturally. As the inlay artist, James reserves final say, and he was thrilled with idea, and so was Susan. Everyone was happy, especially Scott when he found the inlay firsthand. He was so thrilled in fact, that he named the guitar "Owl."
Peghead Peghead Yin and yang, positive and negative, dark and light, front and back. The same guitar with two different views.
Continuous wood backplate Continuous wood backplates are a must with such a wonderful back laminate. Each is cut from the back laminate before the boddy is glued together. Then, the fallout piece is reduced to two veneers and laminated to a multi-ply assembly of Maple and Purpleheart, with Quilted Maple on the two faces. This arrangement makes the plate strong and stable.

Scott Law plays Owl The Owl in its natural environment with Scott at the helm. What a pleasure to work with Scott! He stopped by a couple of times with his friends from Honkytonk Homeslice and we enjoyed listening to them play very much. His energy and talent inspired us on this build, and will hopefully continue to inspire his audiences for many years to come.
Front Back


  • Further 6-string guitar
  • Coco Bolo top
  • Coco Bolo peghead front
  • 5A Quilted Maple back
  • Custom fingerboard inlays
  • Custom medallion inlay
  • Custom inlay on back of peghead
  • Continuous wood backplates
  • Flame Maple body core
featured custom

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Text and Photographs of bass © 2005 Alembic, Inc.

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