Pete Skjold - The Burl Maestro
Skjold Design Guitars was established in September 2003 by Pete Skjold. Pete started off as a bass player and lover of high-end hand crafted bass guitars. He was particularly attracted to
exquisite burls and other fancy and exotic woods found on these instruments. Through the years Pete has collected many great examples of the worlds finest woods for use on his premium handmade bass guitars.
These instruments are sold the world over and part of the purchasing experience for the customer is choosing just the right top wood adornment for their custom bass guitar. Pete takes great honor in providing the best of what is available to his customers.
To see more of his creations you can visit his website www.skjolddesign.com .
I had heard of Pete Skjold, just as I had heard of most bass builders, but I had never really experienced one of his basses. While walking the grounds, I saw it. An incredibly beautiful bass with one of the most absolutely insane maple burl tops I had ever seen, being played live by Damian Erskine. I knew he was a Skjold player and, having actually owned one of his past Foderas, I knew Damian had discerning taste. I had to find out what the deal was with these instruments. I contacted Pete Skjold.
What followed was nothing less than the fantastic experience I was after in the first place. Pete really knew his stuff, and he was, perhaps, the only builder I have worked with that seemed more obsessed over wood than I was. A mad wood scientist, Pete had all the answers to my questions, and a collection of some of the finest decorative burl woods I had yet seen. This was not just run-of-the mill stuff, it was the kind of wood that sometimes defies belief, that these pieces exist in nature. Color, and figure, were present in the extreme on just about everything he showed me.
Our discussions of what we were after were in depth, and always enjoyable. On top of that, I learned that if Pete was impressed by something, then it was definitely going to be an amazing piece. He has seen it all, and he knows quality and where to find it. My latest build with Pete had one of the most amazing pieces of buckeye burl I had ever seen, full of dense burl patterns, exploding with color. We likened it’s look to Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, as it was that detailed.
I have another build with Pete going. It’s all spec’d out except for the final stage, finding the right top. Already there are too many great options to pick from. Maple, box elder, myrtle burls, and more, are all available. The only problem with making a decision, will be picking only one. It’s a good problem to have.