The CB "Dory Jane" Banjo
This instrument was commissioned as a gift from two loving sons to their mother, a banjo player, on her 50th wedding anniversary. Such a momentous occasion calls for a truly custom instrument, a work of art without peer, and Chris welcomed the challenge.
Chris' wife Dixie Bozung, a talented and experienced graphic artist, approached designing the elaborate fingerboard inlays from an unorthodox, but thoroughly traditional, standpoint. Dixie decided that something a bit different from the standard "Tree of Life" type inlay was warranted, both from a standpoint of pure artistry and from consideration of the personality of the instrument's future owner.
Dixie decided to depict a progression of various herbs and Calla Lilies as a metaphor for a life. Working their way out of a Mother-of-Pearl flowerpot at the Resonator, the inlay progresses through Lemon Balm, Bay Leaves, Poppies and Marigolds, with Calla Lilies woven throughout, topped off with a gently-flowing Calla Lily leaf at the first fret.
Dixie's inlay design proved to be perfect for the instrument and for the occasion, both artistically and philosophically. She created the inlay design to be the story of a life, told in exquisitely-inlaid Mother-of-Pearl and Abalone: beginning with the metaphor of flowerpot as womb, the progression of herbs and flowers goes from being rather small and untrained, through the bloom of youth and the prime of life, finally tapering off and fading away, leaving the beauty of life with all who have witnessed it. Fittingly, the life of the inlay is completed with the fragile leaf of the Calla Lily, signifying in its delicacy and gentleness the beauty of life yet to come as well as the beauty of life past.
The Peghead features the owner's name along with another Calla Lily, and a Truss Rod Cover of Mother-of-Pearl engraved with scrolls and the legend "50th Anniversary".
The Resonator, crafted from finest-quality flamed Maple, is finished in Chris' beautiful and unique Cherry Sunburst, and features inlaid roses of contrasting woods.
The Gold-plated hardware is engraved in the beautiful and rarely-seen "Style 5 DeLuxe" vine pattern, with the maker's name engraved on the Tailpiece.
Hand-inlaid Abalone beside Grained Ivoroid binding sets-off the edges of the Resonator and Fingerboard.
Chris has fused the love of two sons, the design ability of Dixie Bozung, the finest materials available, and exquisite craftsmanship into an instrument for the ages. Truly Chris has created in the "Dory Jane" banjo a family heirloom that will be cherished for generations.
(click pictures for larger version)
Last modified: November 28, 2015
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