Jerry sent me a message though Instagram to ask if I would be interested in doing a piece for his Motorcycle Art Extravaganza Show. Jerry knew of my artwork though Chop Cult and on Instagram. He had previously won one of my Beadrolled signs in a ChopCult Giveaway. He explained to me what he was planning and I was honored by be a part of it.
A raw sissy bar showed up at my shop about three months before it was due. I opened up the package and leaned it against the door. The rules were pretty simple: it must be able to hang on the wall, stay within the confines of the backing plate, and have fun.
My first impression upon looking at it was, it looked like a guitar stand. I grabbed my Stratocaster from the other room and set it in front of it. The seed was planted.
I drew up a stratocaster shape on a square piece of aluminum sheet and rolled the shape into it. I then cut the guitar out of the sheet with a Beverly Shear. After seeing this part complete, the ideas started flowing. I wanted to give it a 3D-type look, so I decided to mount some knobs, a selector switch, and bridge to the piece. Now I needed something to simulate frets, so I made a fixture up and bent up some 3/32” tig wire. I laid out the fret positions and drilled holes to mount these on the neck. With every new idea, more ideas kept flowing. I decided to put actual screws in around the edge of the beadrolled pick guard. The pickups looked a little too bland, so I grabbed some sheet metal, punched a bunch of holes in it with my hand punch, and used the drops to glue to the top of the pickups to make them look a little more real.
After placing what I had made so far in front of Jerry’s sissy bar, it became obvious that I needed to transform that into an amp. I decided to go with a Fender blackface theme. I ordered some grill clothe and wrapped it around a piece of ¾” plywood. That was cut to fit into the sissy bar. I used my beadroller to make some edge trim and Polished it on my buffer. I then decided I needed to plug this guitar into the amp. I bought the guitar jacks and mounted them, and then plugged in a patch cord. This led to adding an on/off switch and light. I then mounted the classic Fender logo to the piece. To hold the guitar onto the sissy bar, I fabricated a top and bottom standard guitar mount and used motorcycle oil line to cover it. Also, knowing this would be shipped around to different art shows, I used the pickup screws to mount it direct through to the sissy bar. Last but not least, I enlisted my brother to make a plywood shipping case to protect it and make it easy for Jerry to haul it to the shows.
I guess you could say I was just “Winging It.”