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Many of today’s guitar makers fall into either the modern or reproduction camp of lutherie—but not Big Hollow Guitars’ Bevan Frost, who carves his own path from his workshop in Frisco, Colorado. With Big Hollow, Frost strives to build instruments that feel familiar but are different. “It’s important to have something to say, and I want to make an artistic statement that is also a historical reinterpretation,” he says.
Most Big Hollow models are sized like the parlor guitars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with curvier shapes and modern updates for usability and practicality. When a repeat customer, novelist Joseph Skibell, asked Frost to build a large-bodied guitar with unique inlays, the luthier rose to the challenge. The result is this Jumbo, a historical reinterpretation of Gibson’s iconic Super Jumbo. “I didn’t exactly copy the guitar’s outline,” Frost explains. “I put a Big Hollow Guitar flavor on the curves.”
This means that the Big Hollow Jumbo has a narrower waist and rounded shoulders compared to the classic jumbo silhouette. The body’s intensely flamed maple back and sides and spruce top are finished in a natural oil varnish. For the neck, Frost used laminated construction—layers of koa and Spanish cedar. At Skibell’s request, the face of the guitar is ringed with blue reconstituted stone, and the back and sides are outlined with blue wooden purfling. As a play on the writer’s name, the headstock shows a bell peeking out from behind a cloud, while cloud inlays adorn the bridge.
Ultimately, Skibell got the guitar he envisioned, and Frost says he is “really glad that I have somebody who’s not afraid to send me off into the unknown.”