James Macdonald is spending his life in play clothes, happily creating in wood. He began woodworking professionally in 1981 and before starting his own business in 1988, spent time working in various shops as a moldmaker, guitarmaker, cabinetmaker, ship’s carpenter, and boatbuilder. Upon opening his own shop, James began building custom furniture which featured inlay work. In the early 1990’s he was taught the double bevel cutting style of marquetry by Silas Kopf, and has gone on to teach this technique, also using it to embellish electric guitar designs. In 2013, Macdonald returned to his love of guitars and started crafting his own instruments. His guitars are finely crafted with traditional instrument woods using the set neck style of construction. He considers his guitar’s marquetry designs to be a form of storytelling about growing up in the ’60’s and ’70’s. Wood veneers from around the world are hand cut then detailed with a woodburning pen. Clients have included the Gibson Custom Shop, Petros Guitars, Circa Guitars, and Hinckley Yachts. His Allman Brothers Tribute Guitar is in the collection of their Big House Museum in Macon, Georgia. His goal is to make guitars that look, sound, and play great.
Macdonald also, on a day to day basis, likes to explore all surroundings for their imagined possibilities and can’t help but get his hands working with tools and materials to create just for the joy of it.