Guild Firebird

Guild Firebird

Produced by one of the most respected American guitar manufacturers, this guitar was made in the Guild Custom Shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Designed by Disney Character Artist Chris Schnabel and Project Manager Edgar Reynolds, the Firebird Flat Top Acoustic Guitar is based on the Guild Custom Shop's Valencia model platform. The body sides and fingerboard are bound with multi-ply, tortoise colored binding. The top and fingerboard are intricately inlaid with a botanical design executed in mother of pearl and colored shell. The headstock is inlaid with a sterling silver "Mickey Treble Clef" logo. The interior of the guitar features a hand painted portrait of the Sprite, and her hair is adorned with insects carved from colored shell. This portrait is visible when looking into the sound hole of the instrument.

Guild Fantasia
Guild Firebird
Guild Firebird
Guild Firebird

Additional Information:

Ron Thorn, master inlay artist for the Guild Firebird, had this to say about working on the project: "Working with Disney on this was quite an experience. I walked into the meeting to find full sized "story boards" of the instruments on easels. All hand-drawn and in color. The artwork was simply amazing and the thought behind each one equally amazing. They didn't approach them as art guitars, they wanted them to be conceptual stories to go along with the musical piece. The concept for the Firebird Suite was that the sprite representing Spring would be inside the body with the art-nouveau flowers and butterflies all around her (the sound hole and fretboard). She would be reborn from the fire of the Fall and Winter just as the Stravinsky's composition represents.. They used highly flamed maple in a red burst as the back and sides to represent the Firebird. Then, each year, the Firebird would re-consume her. I had brought samples of a variety of inlays, including butterflies and bees, that I had done on other projects. Seeing the amount of detail that could be achieved with inlays, the main artist Chris Schnabel immediately starting drawing and modifying to suit, and like a true artist - watching the design flow effortlessly from the tip of his pencil was simply unreal."

Chris Schnabel with the Guild Firebird
(Chris Schnabel: Disney artist and chief designer behind the Guild Firebird Suite)

For the Firebird Suite sequence, an acoustic guitar based on the Guild Custom Shop Valencia model was built. These flat top acoustic instruments are made from spruce and highly figured flame maple, finished in Transparent Orange. Master Builder Mark Piper spent over 200 hours working the maple on the guitars and getting the color right, so as to give the effect that they are actually on fire.
Inside the Guild guitars, visible through the soundhole, is a hand painted portrait of The Sprite, the spirit of Nature. Circling around her face are butterflies of carved and engraved abalone. The inlay and ornamentation for these Guild guitars was designed by Chris Schnabel and Edgar Reynolds of Disney. They spent many hours working on the right designs, using bits and pieces of unfinished guitars to build their model.

"Trying to get a design on a guitar is harder that it sounds," explains Reynolds. "Some folks just add ornamentation wherever it fits within the shape of the instrument. Our challenge was to create a cohesive design for each guitar that complemented the feel of each scene. The interior portrait of The Sprite, the flamingos splashing in the water, and New York City in shades of blue, all incorporate the Art Nouveau design elements which the animation directors looked to when they made the film. Fender and Guild's delicate execution really captured the sense of movement we were hoping for."

Only three editions of each guitar will ever be made. One set of each of the three will be featured at Disney Gallery Stores on Fifth Avenue in New York City, Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, and at the Disney Studios in Burbank, CA.

Source: Harmony Central

Copyright ©2008 Westerly Guild Guitars