During the design stage, a few developmental changes had to be made in order to achieve a perfectly playable instrument without precluding hand-to-string interaction. The horns were re-designed from the original emblem, to be affixed to the body of the guitar for additional strength and ergonomic capabilities - this would result in establishing a functional and practical carved-sculpture.
Choosing the material for the guitar body was perhaps one of the more fundamental aspects of the creation process, alongside the 'horn-reconfiguration'. The designated wood would have to characterise qualities of strength, tonal resonance and an attractive grain pattern as the guitar would be stained. Ultimately, the wood of choice was Cherry. Not only does it possess the necessary requirements for such a job, but, it is a very unique material that expedites the drying time of wood stain and finish. The wood had to have close-fibres and durability, enough to withstand the carving process and express resiliance for optimal sustainability.
With Rock Maple as the elected neck material, the guitar had a great potential for fortitude and stability. Although 1.5 times larger proportionally to a real human skull, the RAM Guitar body was carved to be as anatomically accurate as possible, including an array of deliberate 'impairments', as found on the real anatomy of the skull, featuring ridges and sutures.
My signature aluminium neck binding running parallel to the fretboard gave a perfect contrast to the dark-stained maple neck, allowing for full visibility when playing the guitar. My siganture headstock shape was also implemented, along with backplates and control panels made from sealed Stainless Steel that had been engraved with the production name, model, Gallery tagline, and of course, the name of my client, revered fantasy artist and Bloodstock Open-Air Founder, Paul Raymond Gregory.
Initially, an ebony wood stain was applied to the instrument, although, the once dried, the pigmentation was surprising to say the least.
Cherry wood is distinctive in many things; one of the those things I hadn't accounted for (though I did a series of tests, but forgot to wipe of the excess), was its red-tinged colouration, resulting in an almost Tobacco/Coffee hue. Not my intended choice, but it became almost serendipitous as the colour aided in the 3-Dimensional properties of the guitar body.
Sealed with Tung-Oil, the Rock and Metal (RAM) became a satin-shined, Tobacco-coloured visual spectacle. Unlike real rams horns, the RAM Guitar does not feature the horn 'ridges'...quite simply because the wood-grain actually simulates an extremely similar pattern, and it would be a shame to lose or hide such a fantastic grain.
The RAM Guitar features a 'RAM' 12th fret bone inlay, as well as a Cherry headstock veneer, coupled with the Cynosure Guitars 'signature' textured-metal backplates. With a 24.75" scale length, the ergonomical structure of the RAM allowed for 100% unhindered fret access.
The concept of the guitar, was primarily established to be a playable sculpture; a unique-individual, hand-carved model, yet still maintaining its distinction as a functional Art-piece.
Paul Raymond Gregory
The success of Bloodstock 2014 gave rise to another instrumental creation for the proceeding year, 2015.
Paul Raymond Gregory's onsite Art Gallery, the 'Rock and Metal (RAM) Museum' was the subject matter for this very bespoke guitar.
A menacing visage and demeanour are most notably redeemed when gazing upon the Gallery's iconic emblem, a human-skull/ram-horn hybrid, much akin to the Greek mythos of Pan.