Behind the Scenes with Tom Bedell: Creation of the Cathedral Series
I was in Spain consummating the acquisition of the world’s only large collection of legally documented, 50-year nature-dried Brazilian rosewood tonewood. The collection included over 100 sets of a sort labeled “Puerta d’Iglesia.” It was highly figured with dramatic sapwood, the design preferred by European cathedrals for their large regal entry doorways. Therefore, the Spanish name for “church door”.
The next afternoon, while visiting the city of Segovia, I entered the most dramatic cathedral, centuries old – it must have taken over a century to complete. Tall, enormous ceilings of carved stone, ornate pillars, worship areas honoring saints…the acoustics – extraordinary. Like shouting from the top of a mountain and being rewarded with an echo, I felt compelled to challenge the walls and ceilings with a stout American, “Hello!” The answer was immediate and full of resounding overtones. Right then, the inspiration overwhelmed me, “Design a Bedell dreadnought, with six of the finest sets of Puerta d’Iglesia and name it, THE BEDELL CATHEDRAL.”
Of course, to follow the theme, only carefully selected European spruce would do. And I insisted on genuine Honduran mahogany for the neck.
Back at the Bedell Custom Shop, I met with Angela Christensen and Austin Cerny…our two incredibly creative inlay designers. I shared my inspiration and challenged them to create a purfling, fretscape and rosette that would have the elegance and grandeur of the Segovia Cathedral…while complementing, not competing with, the spectacular Puerta d’Iglesia Brazilian. I could never have envisioned the masterpiece they achieved. Combining Gold Pearl, Mother of Pearl, and Spalted maple in over two hundred intricate puzzle pieces, the stain glass like silhouette at the 12th fret is astounding. The rosette complements it with its cathedral like arches. And the Spalted maple purfling and neck bind frame it exquisitely.
Yes, we thoughtfully Sound Optimized the tops and backs, Hand-Voiced each guitar once braces were affixed, and then again when the guitars were complete. The resulting sound is magnificent.
We have only crafted six to sell. The proto-type created to finalize the design is resting safely in my personal guitar collection with a label of 0 of 6☺
Soon you will be able to see each of the six at (List the stores that purchased them.)