Honfleur Guitar

Semi-hollow guitar, sipo wood, eggshells, lacquer, gold leaves, Fishman Fluence active ick with USB battery pack.

The Honfleur guitar is reminiscent of Normandy landscapes where I spent many summers as a child, the shimmering sunset on the Channel, the foggy dark evenings, and the surrounding farm life.

Using materials traditionally applied to antique French and Asian furniture design (eggshells inlay in urushi lacquer with gold leaves, such as Gaston Suisse), this instrument benefits also acoustically from the properties of such elements that compose it. If calcium helps sound with violin varnish, and if deer horn does the same with guqin finishes, I had to put eggshells to the test. As for the gold leafing inside the soundhole, it helps reflect sound the same way it reflects light, enhancing a bit its unplugged experience.

 This design also breaks with that lacquer tradition it’s inspired from since it is not sand down flat to an even surface, keeping the honesty of the material, the seductive and unique colors and freckles of the eggs, as well as maintaining the visual rhythm that emerged during the process. The core of the lacquer is traditional urushi with a thin layer of matte finish to be fingerprint friendly.

 Sustainability is always on my mind, this electric guitar is made entirely of mindfully picked natural materials, even the only part of turquoise plastic on the control knob has been upcycled. Moreover, its active pick-up is rechargeable via a usb cable, assuring a longer energy life, as well as avoiding discarding 9volt batteries ever again.

 The active pickup is located at the fingerboard with a notable low end, internal channels are already built-in in case an additional pickup and knob are desired in the future.

Honfleur is a unique model, and became my pandemic project, saving eggshells one quarantine-omelette at a time.