“The number one thing, I think, that controls the instrument is the design.”
In walking around Danny Goddard’s shop, you’re tempted to stop and stare at the various tools and signs adorning every wall in the shop: “59. Never expect applause.” and “Appreciate Your Lunacy” stand out. But doing so distracts you from the real beauty being created. His “micro-production” process, in making instruments, jewelry and knife handles is a joy to experience and seeing the finished product – sublime. Creating guitars, ukuleles, mandolins, and other instruments from scratch or inlaying pearl on existing surfaces is incredible, but the true genius is in the details.
Every aspect—starting with the blueprinting process that Goddard sketches out himself, all the way to the individually numbered label, four-color letterpress so each label is unique inside the body—is given the utmost attention and care. Listening to him talk about the wood choice and how different aged wood is from new wood, and the “seasonings” involved in the braces inside the body makes you appreciate how much thought and emotion go into each creation. No two of his projects are ever exactly the same and that is not only a beautiful thing, but really the point of the whole process. Whether you acquire jewelry or a guitar, when you leave with your new prize, you carry with you the knowledge that it is the only one like it in existence.
Jett Instruments Co. is based at Lake Ella in Tallahassee and Goddard’s jewelry can be found at Quarter Moon. You can hear his instruments in action by catching Danny playing his heart out with The New 76ers on a Jett Instruments guitar.