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HD Custom Guitars

In January of 2018, my older and only brother tragically took his own life.  His chosen profession was that of luthery, or guitar building.  For nearly 20 years he handmade guitars under the name HD, or Homeless Dog Custom Guitars and built an online guitar supply company, both of which operated out of a beautiful old storefront in a sleepy town in northern Wisconson.

I began playing guitar when I was young in an effort to be like my brother.  He was my childhood hero.  It was only after his passing that I began to see his guitars as the works of art that they are, to see the craftsmanship that is involved in making such instruments.

As someone who enjoys woodworking, my eyes were opened to a whole new world.  I had never considered how much work and how precise the construction needed to be in order to make an instrument play correctly, much less not fall apart.  I was suddenly thrust into a new community of guitar builders, all so friendly and willing to answer questions or respond to even to most inexperienced.  Until playing my brothers instruments, I had only experienced production guitars built by large companies on a large scale.  A handmade instrument is something truly special.  They have a soul of their own, given to them by the builder.  Each unique and one of a kind.

This slowly evolving series is an attempt for me to understand and connect with my brother in a way that I couldn't do in life.  Photographs are made as I explore his instruments and their construction, and as I begin the process of constructing my own guitars with the help of his notes and tools.  While we were unfortunately not able to bond over construction in life, maybe we can posthumously.  Safe travels Josh, wherever you are.

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