Bonvillain Design Studio, producers of one-of-kind instruments and customizations for performing artists and discerning collectors, will contribute a custom guitar to this year’s Hearts & Horses Therapeutic Riding Center’s silent auction, beginning September 27.
This unique piece was made special for Hearts & Horses and is intended to capture a more western ‘saddle brown’ type of feel with streaks of UV/blacklight reactive pink that match the Hearts & Horses logo on the back. This unique guitar is a blend of a 2021 Telecaster UltraLuxe – the sister Telecaster to the one being played by Mark Morton on the current Lamb Of God tour - ash body and electronics and the birdseye maple neck from a 2013 US Select series. It comes in a factory tweed hardshell case and all the case candy from a Bonvillain Design custom guitar, including picks, photo print and a certificate of authenticity. It is the first Bonvillain piece being offered to the general public.
Bidding starts September 27 and concludes October 2 at www.heartsandhorses.org/lucky-hearts-silent-auction/.
Bonvillain Design Studio has made guitars for some of the most famous and influential guitarists of all time including Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Kerry King, Bob Weir, John Mayer, Yvette Young and Jen Majura of Evanesence. Bonvillain works with premium manufacturers for limited runs of guitar designs, as well as producing a handful of their own builds per year.
“This all started because I love these guitars,” says Bonvillian founder David Bonvillain, who began playing at 12. As a longtime fan of heavy music, Bonvillain was inspired by shredders like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, whose flashy guitars he was particularly taken by. Bonvillain went on to earn a Bachelor’s in music with a focus in music industry and eventually found himself working as a guitar tech for Slayer’s Kerry King.
“Over the years, I had amassed a decent collection of Jems, some of the JSArt guitars and my ultimate goal - the swirly Green and Purple Multicolors,” he says. “I had always LOVED those instruments and had only owned a couple UV versions over the years. So, as I continued buying multicolor Ibanez guitars, I had obtained a couple of ATD swirls that were a little beat up. My painting research had really started with the intention of simply refinishing my own guitars if ever necessary.”
Then when the pandemic and lockdown of 2020 hit, Bonvillain found himself in a position to expand his research and dedicate the necessary time in both the laboratory as well as the paint studio and – encouraged by praise from none other than Steve Vai himself - Bonvillain Design Studio was born.
“I proceeded to spend hundreds of hours researching different techniques and learning about the chemistry of paints, pigments and chemical bonding to different surface substrates,” Bonvillain says. “I also spent thousands on different paints, and then hundreds of additional hours testing and painting different things before I felt like I was producing something close to what was in my head, which at that point had really changed from what the original swirls were into a kind of blend of old and new school designs with crazy colors and a lot of fluorescent pigments to make the guitars look insane when played on stage.”
Visit Bonvillain Design Studio at www.bonvillain-design.com and follow them at www.instagram.com/bonvillain_design_studio to stay up to date on available pieces.
“Being able to be involved with making something that someone else loves and makes beautiful music on is an amazing feeling,” Bonvillain says. “I can’t wait to do hundreds of them.”