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Gibson Custom Artist In Residence
The WARHORSE
WARHORSE Front View
WARHORSE Close Up #1
 
WARHORSE Close Up #2
WARHORSE Close Up #3
 
WARHORSE Guitar Strap
WARHORSE Early Drafts and Carvings
 
WARHORSE Powder Horn

One of the first pieces inspired by Gibson Custom's Artist in Residence program, the James A. Willis WARHORSE speaks to Willis' southern roots as well as his appreciation for the folk art created by soldiers during America’s Revolutionary War. Featuring hand-carved woodwork, custom-cut and scrimshawed hardware, and rustic finish work, the guitar recalls life in the trenches during one of the most significant events in American history. The WARHORSE is fine art achieved through a tribute to the common Revolutionary soldiers' handiwork, often one of the few distractions enlisted men had during those difficult and lonely times. To capture the look and feel of an 18th-century musket/Revolutionary War musket, this one-of-a-kind guitar is purposefully rough. Whenever possible, Willis used period-appropriate materials and eschewed modern tools and complex finish techniques. The result: a singular piece of art that can never be duplicated. Gibson Custom supplied the WARHORSE'S body platform, a 1957 Reissue Les Paul, and the Gibson Finish and Hardware teams collaborated extensively with Willis, providing historical research, materials testing, and final assembly.

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