“At the crossroads of history and music.”

New Bern, North Carolina | 110 Sales


“At the crossroads of history and music.”

New Bern, North Carolina 110 Sales On Etsy since 2016

5 out of 5 stars (12)
David English

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David English


Building Stringed Instruments from Reclaimed Objects

My name is David English. I am the artist behind Black Owl Guitars; handcrafted cigar box instruments. Each instrument is built in my garage workshop and each is unique. It's thrilling to see each one come together. I carefully hand select cigar boxes to ensure that each instrument I build delivers that deep soulful blues sound. Cigar boxes vary so much in color, shape, and size that these three elements make each one individually distinct and beautiful. The neck of each of my guitars is crafted with an original signature art design carefully burned into the wood using freehand pyrography techniques. I stain them using genuine swamp mud from the Trent River, then I seal them with a beeswax finish courtesy of local bees. Sound holes are added to each box not only delivering a full acoustic sound but also adding to the instruments aesthetic qualities. As an update to these original primitive style instruments, a pick up can be added giving the option of plugging up for a gig or recording. Signed and sealed these instruments offer the professional musician or hobbyist an authentic recreation of the music and instruments used throughout the 1800's and the early 1900's. I have pictures of some of the instruments that I have made for myself as well as some I have sold to customers. Enjoy, and order one for yourself! They are fun to play, listen to, and just admire as art. It definitely makes a great conversation piece. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to building an instrument for you.

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Shop members

  • Lorie Malone

    Instrument Case Designer

  • Mark Schomaker

    Wiring/Electronics Tech

Production partners

  • Mark Schomaker

    New Bern, NC

    Wiring Technician

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Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits