~ Dudley Custom Guitars ~
Peter Dudley began making things in his family's garage and basement as early as he can remember. He studied Engineering at RPI, but missed the hands-on satisfaction of making, and secured an apprenticeship with famed sculptor/furnituremaker Wendell Castle, ultimately building Castle's furniture and teaching in his school. In the past 25 years, he has taught furnituremaking at Parsons School of Design in NY, placed pieces in major private collections nationwide, and has been published in numerous books and periodicals. In 2005, he turned his attention to guitars, on a quest for the elusive “tone in your head,” emerging with a chambered hybrid solidbody design with entirely handcarved details. Every top is hand graduated, yet feedback-resistant, thanks to a unique integral center block, and the Dudley guitars typically hover around the 7 lb mark!
Natural wood bindings and pristine hand-cut inlays are standard fare, and his more exotic “Art” instruments push the boundaries of traditional inlay, with bold graphic images that spill off the edges of the fretboard. Peter is equally concerned with tone, gently pushing each instrument in one direction or another to have a distinct and recognizable voice of its own. His “Peonies” guitar was purchased for the collection of the Eastman School of Music, and is used by students and faculty of the Jazz Guitar department for recitals and the occasional Rochester Philharmonic concert.
Today, Dudley Custom guitars continue to be built by one man, one at a time, without robots or assistants. Each top and neck is still handcarved, and inlays are hand-cut. His Lone Star series incorporates all the features of the art guitars, but with more restrained ornamentation. Each receives a unique, one-off headstock inlay, varying in size, material and orientation, making them genuinely one-of-a-kind, yet at a Standard model price. Peter Florance handwound pickups and Gotoh 510 hardware complete the equation for stellar tone.
Peter lives and works on a tiny farm property on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.