If area Mastodon fans see guitarist Brent Hinds sporting a new axe in concert, they can thank Aaron VanWhy.
VanWhy's Nazareth-based VanWhy Inlay & Design recently fitted a new guitar for Hinds with custom inlays. The images used for the inlay were created by Oakland, California-based artist Skinner.
In an email, VanWhy said a chance encounter with Guitar Institute & American Archtop Guitars' owner Dale Unger led to a meeting with guitar-builder Derek Arnold. Arnold, VanWhy said, was in the process of building a new guitar for Hines and was in need of an inlay artist. The collaboration took off from there.
The project took about three months and 45 hours to complete, VanWhy said, due to the size of the inlays need to fit the desired areas of the guitar and the detailed nature of Skinner's artwork. (Inlays are decorative materials set into the wooden surface of a fretted instrument.)
"We are incredibly proud of the way this turned out and hopefully Brent is, too," VanWhy said.
VanWhy -- a self-professed fan of Mastodon -- spent eight years honing his craft at C.F. Martin & Company (Martin Guitar) in Upper Nazareth Township, he said. He launched the business with his father, Ricky, in 2010.
Mastodon is an American heavy-metal band from Atlanta. They have released six studio albums, with their most recent being 2014's Once More 'Round the Sun. The group's 2011 album The Hunter, spawned the single "Curl of the Burl" and debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart. Once More 'Round the Sun, peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart.