New book documents the work of visionary instrument-maker Ed Stilley | Rock Candy

Friday, July 29, 2016

New book documents the work of visionary instrument-maker Ed Stilley

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 5:42 PM

click to enlarge Ed Stilley, in Acoustic Guitar
  • Ed Stilley, in Acoustic Guitar

Ed Stilley is one of those extraordinary people who though they aren't artists are driven to create. In Stilley's case, God was the driver and in 1979 He told Stilley, a farmer in Hogscald Hollow outside Eureka Springs,  to build acoustic  instruments for children. This month,
Acoustic Guitar has a great article about a new book about Stilley's visionary work by photographer Tim Hawley, who documents his guitars, mandolins, dulcimers and fiddles in "Gifted: The Instruments of Ed Stilley." The online magazine said the book has "some of the most extraordinary photographs of some of the most extraordinary stringed instruments you’ll ever see.

The Walton Arts Center exhibited Stilley's instruments in 2013 in a show called "True Faith, True Light: The Folk Instruments of Ed Stilley," in connection with Fayetteville's Roots Festival. Last year, the UA Press published Kelly Mulhollen's "True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley." 

A passage from Hawley's books describes just how unusual Stilley's creations are:
Besides experimenting with different sizes and shapes, Stilley also invented a mostly unseen but intriguing instrument within the instrument. This interior metallic skeleton is made up of an odd assortment of hardware including screen door springs, saw blades, pot lids, and old medicine bottles. These unlikely combinations work collectively to create an unusual framework of oscillating tonality. The listener will recognize a distinct timbre with harmonic overtones, some dissonance, and a haunting sort of reverb.
You can't buy one of Stilley's instruments — they are not for sale — but if, like me, I am ashamed to say, you didn't know about Stilley, the books will allow you to catch up.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Windgate makes $300,000 grant to Pulaski Tech for arts

    A grant of $300,000 from the Windgate Charitable Foundation in Siloam Springs will promote UA Pulaski Tech's arts programming at its Center for Humanities and Arts (CHARTS), the college announced today.
    • Dec 12, 2017
  • Make like the Big Lebowski this holiday! Dust Bowl may open before Christmas

    The neon orange and green bowling pin signage is up, the bowling pin handles on the front door are attached and the Dust Bowl Lanes and Lounge at 315 E. Capitol Ave. should blow in by Christmas, an owner says.
    • Dec 11, 2017
  • More land for East Capitol View, Rose Creek trail

    Jason Baxter's seeming pie-in-the-sky sort of plan to develop East Capitol View may come closer to earth when the City Board at its reconvened meeting Dec. 12 considers as resolution to accept the donation of properties by Leland B. and Janet Jones "for the extension of the Rose Creek Trail" and to designate the land for a public park.
    • Dec 9, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation