|James R Baker||1990 to present||“I started serious, regular issue of instruments in 1990…made a couple here & there before that but I don’t know where they are…..
I have always used the number system of 4 digits, the first two the number of the instrument issued that year , the second two the year….so 0108 was the first guitar this year….1499 the fourteenth instrument of 1999
For new instruments, I have had a label , that is visible thru the soundhole, that I don’t always use anymore that has my family crest on it, we were carvers / designers , it has a latin motto on it that translates to “the end crowns the work”… I don’t use it much anymore, generally now I just sign the instrument in black , on the back visible thru the soundhole. On electrics w/o a soundhole, the same system on the back of the headstock. I usually sign the headstock on the front , kind of like PRS does….I also usually inlay a marquetry rose on the headstock, it has always been my “mark”
On vintage restoration instruments that do not have a label, I sometimes put a small label inside that has the name, “Guitare Romantica” and a date and signature….I watch for quality circa 1900 & earlier unidentified instruments and restore & mod them into really nice playing guitars, the 100+year woods are great….its a nice market, a quicker to inventory item thasn a new one, a great old instrument with a real vintage vibe cause it’s real vintage for a reasonable price.
On labeled , important vintage instruments, I sometimes sign & date in pencil, small & hidden inside so that the owner knows where, just for a security measure as well as identifying it….
My website is a new one, had a different one for many years but my focus is changing.. I want to bring my patented archtops to a younger generation, and I am getting heavily into Romantic era instruments, gut string and such, both vintage and my own design for this fall….i will still make electrics & others but I think (I am 55) that it is time for me to try to have my instruments speak to a younger generation….20 – 30 yr olds are so smart, they have no boundaries, and that excites me…it like Dylan said, Lend a hand or get out of the way…” [Source: Jim Baker, email 30/3/2008]