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Custom Shop Stories: Sara Ray Paints a Killer Duo-Jet

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Credit Gretsch Master Builder Stephen Stern and renowned SoCal hot rod artist Sara Ray for teaming up to create another gem of a guitar from the Gretsch Custom Shop.

The ’59 Duo-Jet that is headed to U.K. resident Steve Isaacs features a 130th Anniversary logo on a larger headstock and an amazing graphic from Ray.  It was the second time Isaacs asked Ray to paint a guitar, the previous one depicting a tattooed pinup.

“I got to know Sara Ray quite well over the past few years,” Isaacs said from his home in Poole, Dorsett.  “She painted another guitar for me a while ago.  When it’s time for her to work on a guitar, she sends over couple of sketches, but I really don’t like to give her too much direction.  She came up with a couple of ideas, and I loved this one the most.”

Isaacs had also worked with Stern before, as the enthusiast owns a couple of masterbuilt Telecasters from Stern.

“I didn’t know much about Steve Stern, but he had such a fantastic resume.  He’s worked with some of the world’s greatest luthiers,” said Isaacs, who noted that he has been playing guitar for at least 30 years.

“He mentioned that I should check out Gretsch. I have to say, he totally converted me.  They’re great guitars.”

The image on Issacs’ newest piece is of Anne Bonny, the infamous Irishwoman who became a feared pirate.  With a sword slung at her side, Bonny is also holding a boarding pistol.

“I think it really came out amazing,” Isaacs said.  “It is truly one-of-a-kind, and I can’t wait to play it.”

View more of Ray’s work on her official website.

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