Part of a series for a book project on Ed Stilley, the Luthier of Hogscald Hollow, AR. Mr. Stilley was told by God to create instruments and give them away to children for free. He did so for 25 years creating approximately 200 instruments. They were made from scrap wood from the saw mill where he worked and had little resonance or volume. In an effort to increase their sound quality, Mr. Stilley filled them with various pieces of hardware including saw blades, pot lids and screen door springs. The result is a surprising and haunting reverb.
I enlisted the aid of a local health clinic in making the x-rays. The largest image they were able to create was an 11"x14" plate so each completed instrument is actually a collection of 4 to 8 plates that are composited together in Photoshop.
The X-rays of Mr. Stilley's creations help to tell the complete story of what may be some of the greatest American Folk Art that can be experienced. The resulting book is entitled GIFTED and is currently available at www.edstilley.com