Master inlay artist Harvey Leach was inspired to contribute his skills to the Luthiers for a Cause project based in part on his belief in the healing power of creativity. "I have personally escaped some fairly dark places by simply going to my shop and making something," he said. "To be truly creative you must be "in the moment" and the worries of life are generally things that either have already happened or haven't yet happened (and may never happen). The only things you can change are right now and making that something enjoyable and positive is essential to good health -- in my opinion of course!"
Harvey inlayed the project logo on the sound hole end of each of the six fretboards being used in the project. Harvey shared, "I always like working with other builders especially on a project that will make a difference in people's lives, especially kids."
A testament to his incredible skills, when C.F. Martin & Co. wanted DaVinci-themed inlays to commemorate its 1.5 millionth guitar, they turned to Harvey to turn the vision into reality.
Another well-known Harvey Leach inlay is the back of the Edo guitar, which is a recreation of a famous Japanese painting. The incredibly detailed inlay took about 450 hours. The guitar is one of 35 guitars on display at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, USA as part of the Dragons and Vines exhibit. The exhibit is on display through September, 2017.
While Harvey has done plenty of inlay work that is hanging in museums or part of esteemed collections, he also finds joy in doing inlay projects that are accessible to most anyone able to afford a custom instrument. He adds, "I find there are challenges in just about every inlay project, big or small."
Proceeds from the Luthiers for a Cause project will benefit The Ukulele Kids Club, a 501(c)3 charity that is focused on gifting ukuleles to hospital music therapy programs so that children in need can be sent home with the gift of music for life. You can learn more about the Ukulele Kids Club here.