Archive for the ‘New Instruments’ Category

wabi sabi

Wabi-sabi embraces imperfection and appreciates asymmetry, irregularity, simplicity and the organic nature of natural objects . Luna’s new “Wabi-Sabi” guitars are constructed with B grade tops….usually rejected for being aesthetically imperfect but sounding the same as A grade tops. This is a brilliant combination as each guitar is different and we are able to offer a solid top guitar at a laminate guitar price, all while making more complete use of our natural resources. The instruments feature a Zen brushstroke rosette, full dreadnought and GC cutaway bodies, B-grade spruce solid top, Mahogany back and sides and a rosewood fretboard. The GC profile also features an onboard preamp.

Take a closer look at the Dreadnought and Grand Concert profiles.

Wabi Sabi FB

Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent..
“Wabi-sabi is not found in nature at moments of bloom and lushness, but at moments of inception or subsiding. Wabi-sabi is not about gorgeous flowers, majestic trees, or bold landscapes. Wabi-sabi is about the minor and the hidden, the tentative and the ephemeral things so subtle and evanescent they are invisible to the eyes unless you are really looking….”

From Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren

A picture is worth a thousand words. Please enjoy these following examples of Wabi Sabi and remember to embrace the imperfection of beauty.












Wabi Sabi Suggestions

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Where to begin? I will attempt to make logical sense of what is not necessarily a linear process.


Whenever I consider a new design idea for Luna, I start by thinking how it will fit into the whole line.

Luna is organically growing into an iconic, increasingly recognizable line of instruments…and that’s not by accident.  We mindfully choose universal symbols and designs that go beyond the creation of “pretty guitars” to connect with customers on a visceral level. From the Henna guitars and Tattoo ukes based on body ornamentation by Alex Morgan to our Flora and Fauna designs that let each player bring their own meaning to the instrument … authenticity and connection are our prime concern.

Our instruments are the brand. Heartfelt letters we receive from players telling us why they chose their Luna (or their Luna chose them) confirm that.

One of our in-progress designs for 2013 is the Moonflower…a natural addition to our Flora line. The Moonflower is a tropical American climbing plant of the morning glory family with large sweet-smelling white flowers that open at dusk and close at midday. The moonflower only blooms at night. Out of darkness comes blossoming, as joy, inspiration, and hope can blossom from the dark night of the Soul.


After deciding on a subject, I immerse myself in looking at images online and/or in books. One of the first things to grab my attention was this video of a Moonflower blooming in real time. For those of you that are impatient…start at :35. Amazing!

I spent many pleasant hours reading about moonflower form, function, history, and legends before putting pencil to paper.

Moonflower architecture 2

Moonflower architecture 3

Moonflowers in full bloom

Sphinx moth feeding

I was also distracted by moon gardens (filled with flowers that bloom only at night) but, though I digress, wandering is a part of the process.

Moon Garden


I start out with a rough pencil design at the size that the design will actually be to get an idea of what is feasible for inlay. Since I’m not in a design program where things are easily undone, rotated etc., I wear out lots of erasers! The first photo is of my new office with lightbox where I do my drawing. A big shout-out to my talented husband Mike and equally talented friend James Streeter!

Drawing table

Pencil drawing on light box

Sketch for matching fingerboard


To do the inked design, I scale the size up on a copier and use my light box to trace the design.

Inked rosette

Sphinx Moth inlay


Because our manufacturers require all artwork in ai. design, this involves giving the inked design to one of our in-house graphic designers to render. A huge “Thank You!” to Steve Czaplicki and Chris Williams!

ai. rendering – rosette

ai. rendering – fret board


In the case of an inlay design, we will make color references to indicate mother of pearl, tinted abalones or sometimes different types of wood.

Rosette color reference

Fret board color reference


Because clear communication with our manufacturers is vital, the next step is creating a specification spreadsheet with visuals. There are many decisions to be made at this point…profile shape, body materials, fingerboard materials, hardware etc. This is just the beginning of a back and forth process which will take place between now and 2013. For instance…before producing actual samples, we will request tops only with paint color to make sure we are where we want to be. Pantone colors are helpful but translate differently when attempting a trans finish.

Specifications spreadsheet


After the spec sheets are sent we begin a close dialogue with our manufacturing partners via email to make sure things are spot on and on schedule for the next trade show. Even though this instrument is targeted for our 2013 catalog we’ll need samples in time for an October catalog shoot.

This is a small glimpse into one of many exciting instruments for next year. Alex Morgan, our UK artist in residence, has an entirely different process we will share in a future post. As always, please feel free to send us any suggestions for instruments you would like to see. We’re always listening!

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The Americana Collection has a classic, traditional look and designs are draw from our unique cultural heritage.



Visually, everything about the eagle is sharp, streamlined, sleek, chiseled, powerful. Symbolically, the eagle is associated with protection, guardianship, freedom, focus, vision, power and liberation.

The AME 100 is as visually sleek and sonically powerful as its inspiration. The AME100 is a perfect choice for a broad spectrum of musical styles. Make music as diverse as the population of the country for which an Eagle is the emblem.



Legend maintains that Spanish Moors decorated their homes with hand-carved leather. Tooling leather was practiced widely during the middle ages and in central America during the time of the Aztecs.

Leather tooling became popular among cowboys and ranchers of the “Wild West” for its ornamentation and expression of personal style. Elaborately tooled saddles helped express pride in their owners’ horsemanship and identified individual possessions among cowboys with no horses of their own.

It is this spirit of individuality expressed by the AMT100’s striking “tooled leather” look pick guard. Herringbone binding around the edge continues the feel by suggesting hand stitching.


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Luna is happy to announce the Flora Rose and the Fauna Hummingbird for 2011.

The rose is one of the most important symbols in the world. A red rose represents love, respect, courage and passion.

In Greek mythology a red rose was a symbol for the cycle of growth and for love and affinity. In Christendom, the red rose is seen as a symbol of Jesus’ blood. In Sufi mystical language The Rose is often used as an image of God, and the heart.

Luna Guitars’ Rose starts at the sound hole and trails onto the lower bout. The red tinted abalone blossoms are stunning against the blonde quilt maple top. A remarkable instrument to give voice to your own love and passion through music.

Body Type: Folk
Wood Top: Quilt Maple
Wood Neck: Maple
Wood Body” Maple
Scale Length: 25 1/2
Nut Width: 1 5/8
Neck Type: Set
Nec Profile: C
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Inlays: MOP Moon Phase
Frets Number: 20
Tuners: Diecast
Hardware Color: Brushed Nickel
Bridge/Tremelo: Rosewood
Design Feature: Tinted Abalone Rose Design Binding: 3 Ply
Finish: Gloss
Paint Color: Clear
Case Options: LL FP

The hummingbird is a symbol of love, joy, and beauty. When the hummingbird hovers over flowers while drinking nectar, we learn that we should savor each moment, and appreciate the things we love. It reminds us that if we find joy in what we do, we become light as a feather, and life is rich with nectar.

The hummingbird is also a symbol of great strength as they are able to hover for as much as 50 minutes in one place. Because of this, it symbolizes the ability to accomplish the seemingly impossible.

Luna Guitars’ iridescent Hummingbird hovers at the sound hole drawing nectar from a pink abalone flower. It’s petite parlor size body includes a B-band preamp system and, like it’s namesake, is powerful beyond expectation.

Body Type: Parlor
Wood Top: Quilt Maple
Wood Neck: Maple
Wood Body” Maple
Scale Length: 25 1/2
Nut Width: 1 5/8
Neck Type: Set
Nec Profile: C
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Inlays: MOP Moon Phase
Frets Number: 20
Tuners: Diecast
Hardware Color: Brushed Nickel
Bridge/Tremelo: Rosewood
Design Feature: Tinted Abalone Hummingbird Rosette
Binding: Herringbone
Finish: Gloss
Paint Color: Clear
Case Options: LL FP

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As many of you know, NAMM, our big January trade show in Anaheim, Ca., is fast approaching. It’s always an exciting time of year as our last minute prototypes arrive just before Christmas, and opening the boxes that house them is even more exciting than opening the best gift imaginable. The thought that an idea has traveled half way around the world via cyberspace and returns as a three dimensional object never ceases to amaze me.

December 8th was the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. For many of us who remember it, it marked the end of an exceptional era on many levels. Our local radio station played songs and commentary on my drive to work and  by the time I arrived I was feeling a bit nostalgic and subdued. Upon arriving, I walked straight to the loading dock where I knew that a package containing new uke and travel guitar prototypes had arrived the previous afternoon. As soon as I opened the first box, the sight of the Peace Uke brought me such happiness that I lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree!!! . And I’ve smiled every time I’ve looked at it since then. It’s perfect….exactly as I had envisioned it.

The peace sign at the sound hole is laser cut and the laser etched words for “peace” in different languages form a graceful continuum  down the mahogany sound board.  Although I have held this vision for a long time, the design was beautifully executed by Alex Morgan, the U.K. artist that brought our Henna guitars to life. We are also offering a Peace Travel Guitar (below) and have some engaging plans for both of them in 2011.

So, to John…..thanks for all the amazing memories and for your legacy. The dream lives on. And to anyone reading this:

“Imagine all the people ….Living life in peace ”

Peace Out!


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