It is said we all get to choose what we do with our lives, but in my experience, that’s not strictly true. The passion that was born in my teen years – learning to play the guitar and piano, playing in my neighborhood rock band, and launching imported Bedell Guitars in 1964 – is still a part of me today. I am compelled to live each day in the world of music. When I re-launched Bedell Guitars in 2009, after a four-decade hiatus, it was an emotional decision – not a rational or economically driven pursuit.
I am destined to do what I love most: design and craft inspired acoustic instruments. In 2010, I was gifted the opportunity to acquire a guitar workshop in Bend, Oregon. It was truly a dream come true: sourcing rare and special tonewoods, designing instruments, and working with exceptionally talented craftsmen to create Bedell Guitars, all crafted right here in America.
But, as is so often true in life, there was a gnawing at my soul… something that I could not ignore. It was a challenge in my conscience. The reverence I felt for the beauty and tonal brilliance of the exotic tonewoods I was sourcing demanded appreciation and respect… respect for the centuries of life and the organic growth of these extraordinary trees. Whether or not the small quantity of tonewood sets we are using significantly impacts the sustainability of our hardwood and rain forests, the choices we make at Bedell Guitars leaves an imprint on the planet. These choices reflect what we stand for and underline our connectivity between the woods of our forests and our music.
Bedell Guitars is committed to thoughtfully and sustainably honoring this connectivity. No clear-cut trees will ever be used in a Bedell Guitar, and all tonewoods are sourced in a manner consistent with the principles of the Bedell Tonewood Certification Project. In addition, all workshop-installed electronics are made in the U.S.A. by K&K Sound of Coos Bay, Oregon.
Many of you share this respect and reverence for the connection between the woods of our forests and our music, and to honor this reverence, we will share the story of each tonewood set in the Bedell Seed-to-Song Journals that accompany every guitar we make. We will also include the registrations and certifications that assure full compliance with all international regulations and treaties, including CITES and the Lacey Act.
The following pages begin to tell the story of our values, our thoughtful collection of woods, and the magical designs of our guitars. All 2014 Bedell guitars are crafted in Bend, Oregon by the incredible craftsmen featured here. I had no idea life would lead me back to my first love, but I’m so grateful it did, and I am delighted to share with you the gift of these stunning, ethically crafted, and beautiful rich-toned instruments.
Join us on the seed-to-song journey… I hope you are as awed by these woods and the instruments we have created as I am.