Craftsman Gathers Plastic Trash From the Ocean That He Turns Into a Gorgeous Electric Guitar

Burl, the incredibly creative craftsman and luthier of Burl’s Art teamed up with ocean cleaners 4Ocean in South Florida where he dived to gather plastic trash to build a gorgeous electric guitar. The body of the guitar was made from shredded HDPE bottles that were epoxyed onto a wood base.

I want to say thanks to 4ocean for teaming up with me on this project they’re doing good work out there cleaning up our oceans so it was a really cool opportunity to work with an awesome company. … I wanted it to be a visual representation of plastic where you can clearly see the ocean plastic

Burl had first tried to make the neck out of bottle caps, but the epoxy wouldn’t hold to the plastic and it snapped in half. He instead made the neck out of straws that he found while collecting trash. It was a tedious process, but the neck turned out beautifully, and in doing so Burl learned a new technique for placing frets.

The neck turned out great and I think I figured out a good way to press frets into an epoxy fretboard by heating up the frets first, before pressing them in. That seemed to work really well and the fretboard on this thing looks really good… This was easily the most challenging build i’ve done so far but it was a fun project where i got to use different methods i haven’t tried yet and overall I think it came out looking pretty good.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.