Cherry Blossom Guitar

Although we’re taking some time off from the shop, my mind is always open to my surroundings. My wife and I were enjoying a nice sushi dinner when my eyes fell upon the traditional cherry blossom motif—one that I’d seen thousands of times before. This time it was different—maybe it was the wine. Inspiration comes from any number of places if you are open to the world around you.


Sakura. The cherry blossom is a symbol of Life and creates a balance in the Yin/Yang energies of Chi, bringing harmony and success. A great sentiment for the new year, and it appealed to me in a deep fundamental way.


I took out my pencil and began to sketch an idea that I saw in my mind. Engraved cherry blossoms of gold and silver on a cherry-colored guitar. I’ve always been a fan of Tony Zemaitis, but never found it to be anything I’d want to do myself; but somehow it seemed appropriate for my vision. I love working with metal and wood together, so I couldn’t wait to get back to the workshop.


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Jol Dantzig is a guitar builder, designer, writer and filmmaker. He has worked for Gibson, Fender, Guild, Ovation, Gretsch, and was a founding partner of Hamer guitars—one of the first boutique custom guitar brands. Dantzig’s work has been played by hundreds of artists including Sting, Steve Stevens, Larry Coreyell, Dug Pinnick, Billy Gibbons, Keb Mo’, Nick Lowe, KK Downing, Glenn Tipton, John Abercrombie, Glen Campbell, Rick Nielsen, Kenny Vaughan, Lita Ford, James Honeyman Scott, Elliott Easton, Andy Summers, Peter Frampton, Martin Barre, Lyle Workman, Brad Gillis, George Harrison, Jeff Ament, Dweezil Zappa, Jeff Tweedy, Nancy Wilson—and many others.

3 thoughts on “Cherry Blossom Guitar”

  1. Hi Kevin, and a Happy New Year to all of our readers!
    The Sakura will be adorned with engraved steel plates with nickel and 14kt gold, both front and back. My original sketch included a large cherry blossom inlaid on the front of the guitar below the bridge, but I’m having some thoughts about that now. I’d like to maintain a clean look and with all the engraving going on that might be too much. I don’t believe that the value of a piece comes from piling on more and more stuff, but rather, from a sophisticated use of key elements that work together. I am drawing up some nice inlay patterns for the 12th fret…

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