Understanding Elegant simplicity in contrast to industrial Machined “Perfection”.

By getting older it is a growing desire to create elegant but simple instruments. Please read the article below which may explain this need as to be a higher good. Without ornate designs to rely on as signifiers of accepted beauty, I am more encouraged to study subtle colours and textures. In an age of mass production and quick disposal, learning to accept and celebrate scars and flaws is a powerful lesson in humanity and sustainability. In a world that so often prizes youth, perfection and excess, embracing the old and battered may seem strange. It sees beauty in the incomplete and value in simplicity.

 

Wabi-Sabi.

Wabi , which roughly means ‘the elegant beauty of humble simplicity’, and Sabi , which means ‘the passing of time and subsequent deterioration’, were combined to form a sense unique to Japan and pivotal to Japanese culture. But just as Buddhist monks believed that words were the enemy of understanding, this description can only scratch the surface of the topic.

 

Wabi-sabi offers a refuge from the modern world's obsession with perfection, and accepts imperfections as all the more meaningful – and, in their own way, beautiful.

Today it encapsulates a more relaxed acceptance of transience, nature and melancholy, favouring the imperfect and incomplete in everything.

This opportunity to actively engage with something considered to be wabi-sabi achieves three things:

·         a full awareness of natural forces involved in the creation of the piece;

·         an acceptance of the power of nature;

·         and an abandonment of dualism – the belief that we are separate from our surroundings.

 

Rather than casting nature solely as a dangerous and destructive force, it helps frame it as a source of beauty, to be appreciated on the smallest of levels. It becomes a provider of colours, designs and patterns, a source of inspiration, and a force to work alongside, rather than against.

To see the time as a deeper source of beauty, far greater than a two-dimensional flash of gold.

 

Prioritizing flawlessness and infallibility, the ideal of perfection creates not only unachievable standards, but misguided ones.

 

In Taoism, since no further growth or development can take place, perfection is considered equivalent to death. While we strive to create perfect things and then struggle to preserve them, we deny their very purpose and subsequently lose the joys of change and growth.

Michael Thompson writes:

"After 40 years of building you probably already know this, but just in case I must say your profession is one of the rare honorable ones left in our world. You take God given skills and talent to create art from the beautiful resources our planet has provided to inspire and delight your fellow man. And then those who receive your gift go on to complete the cycle and create beautiful music which hopefully delights others as well. It is meaningful and I appreciate it very much." 

Many thanks Michael for such beautiful words. 
  

A glimp of my thoughts. 

 I see myself as a guitar maker giving the guitar player a "voice".  

Whatever the musician is able to shape in terms of sound – dynamics, timbres, load-bearing capacity and power –its acoustic sources are found in the resonances of the instrument. They are the work of the guitar maker. The actual work of Art is not the apparent shape but the sound sculpture we hear. It arises in the encounter between the musician and the resonances with which he "plays" musically.

  

My artistic passion is driven by turning the tonal wood into resonances.

The research of wood and its refinement, the varnish and material compositions, the model development and elaboration, the further development of radiance and dynamics – all serve this one goal: to create quality resonances. Only in this way will the instrument become a strong partner. The resonance profile is the acoustic subtlety and variety, power and radiance of the instrument. It gives the sound its softness and warmth, the openness of the singing vocal formats, the radiant body resonances, the brilliance and load-bearing capacity, the core of the sound and the necessary beam, the high plate resonances in their manifold vibratory and nodal lines. The deeper I penetrated the acoustic exploration of the guitar, the greater the respect I have for its mystery.


Archtop- Theo Scharpach
Archtop- Theo Scharpach

Elegant, craftsmanship and

quality of tone. 

Classical - Theo Scharpach
Classical - Theo Scharpach

Perfect simplicity is the highest

abstraction of universal beauty. 

 

Flamenco - Theo Scharpach
Flamenco - Theo Scharpach

There is a small need to perform on  a nylon string guitar with superior acoustics , not classical.