Music

Plastic-free, sustainable guitar built to mark Jerry Garcia's 75th birthday

Plastic-free, sustainable guit...
The Ocean's body shape is based on Jerry Garcia's Wolf guitar, which recently sold at auction for $1.9 million
The Ocean's body shape is based on Jerry Garcia's Wolf guitar, which recently sold at auction for $1.9 million
View 10 Images
The Ocean's body shape is based on Jerry Garcia's Wolf guitar, which recently sold at auction for $1.9 million
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The Ocean's body shape is based on Jerry Garcia's Wolf guitar, which recently sold at auction for $1.9 million
All of the Ocean's hardware is either non-plated brass, steel or bronze
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All of the Ocean's hardware is either non-plated brass, steel or bronze
Both body and neck of the Ocean are fashioned from sustainable curly maple
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Both body and neck of the Ocean are fashioned from sustainable curly maple
The Ocean's body shape is based on Jerry Garcia's Wolf guitar, which recently sold at auction for $1.9 million
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The Ocean's body shape is based on Jerry Garcia's Wolf guitar, which recently sold at auction for $1.9 million
All of the Ocean's hardware is either non-plated brass, steel or bronze
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All of the Ocean's hardware is either non-plated brass, steel or bronze
A Garcia Fish etching has been recreated for the Ocean's neck inlay
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A Garcia Fish etching has been recreated for the Ocean's neck inlay
A Garcia Fish etching has been recreated for the Ocean's neck inlay
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A Garcia Fish etching has been recreated for the Ocean's neck inlay
The Ocean guitar is the result of a collaboration between the Jerry Garcia Foundation and luthier Thomas Lieber
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The Ocean guitar is the result of a collaboration between the Jerry Garcia Foundation and luthier Thomas Lieber
Both body and neck of the Ocean are fashioned from sustainable curly maple
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Both body and neck of the Ocean are fashioned from sustainable curly maple
The Ocean guitar will now be played at benefit events in aid of causes supported by Jerry Garcia
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The Ocean guitar will now be played at benefit events in aid of causes supported by Jerry Garcia
View gallery - 10 images

The late great Jerry Garcia of Californian experimental psych-rockers The Grateful Dead would have been 75 this week. The influential guitarist, and founder member, fronted the band for the whole of its 30 year career before suffering a fatal heart attack in 1995. To mark his birthday, luthier Thomas Lieber has created the Ocean guitar, a sustainably crafted instrument that's completely free of plastic.

The Ocean guitar project is the result of a collaboration between the Jerry Garcia Foundation and Lieber, who co-created Garcia's guitar of choice between 1979 and 1989 – Tiger – with Doug Irwin. Designed to be "a symbolic vehicle for the Jerry Garcia Foundation," this one-off creation is based on the Wolf guitar that recently sold at auction for US$1.9 million and boasts quite an eco-friendly checklist.

Both body and neck of the Ocean are fashioned from sustainable curly maple
Both body and neck of the Ocean are fashioned from sustainable curly maple

The twin-horned body and 22 fret neck were both fashioned from sustainable curly maple, with the wood components stuck together using non-VOC adhesives. The natural look is thanks to a Tung Oil finish.

Hardware such as the tuners, bridge, switchplate and nut are made from non-plated brass, steel or bronze, while the pickup bobbins come in fiberboard with Alnico magnet poles. Lieber even used cloth covered wire for the electronics. Finally, a Garcia Fish etching has been recreated for the neck inlay.

The Ocean guitar will now be played at benefit events in aid of causes supported by Garcia, starting with a concert in support of ocean conservation later this month.

Sources: Jerry Garcia Foundation, Lieber Instruments

View gallery - 10 images
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