Author(s): Grit Laskin
William (Grit) Laskin is a master guitarmaker, a musician and songwriter, an artist and a storyteller. For more than forty-five years, he's been hand-building guitars for such luminaries as Stan Rogers, Jesse Cook, Rik Emmett, and k.d. lang, inlaying many of these instruments with his personalized designs. No two are alike, and their starting points are as varied as the people who play them. Grand Complications is the story behind the story of fifty of these original designs from 2003 to the present. It is a look inside Laskin's creative process--how he teases out a client's interests and intentions, how he develops and refines his ideas, and how he brings them to life in his mind and on paper. From "Short Stories" that fill only the headstock of a guitar to full narratives that run the length of the neck, each inspired design is the product of research, deep thinking, and a little alchemy. Featured here are projects ranging from an homage to John Lennon to a paean to humpback whales to a tribute to the fall of the Berlin Wall. A member of the Order of Canada, winner of the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence (Canada's most prestigious craft award), and founder of Borealis Records, Laskin is a true craftsman and his insights make fascinating reading for lovers of art, music--and the creative process.
William "Grit" Laskin wears many hats. His primary one is that of guitar-maker, a profession he has pursued since 1971. His steel-string, classical and flamenco guitars are known and coveted around the world. Players of his instruments include k.d.lang, Ben Mink, Rik Emmett, Tom Cochrane, Jesse Cook, Wayne Johnson, Tom Chapin, Garnet Rogers, Stan Rogers, Ottmar Liebert, Christine Lavin, Ken Whiteley, Cathy Fink, and Marcy Marxer, James Keelaghan, Kobukuro (Japan). An additional, but related, hat Laskin wears is that of musician/songwriter/singer. For 40 years, he has been a multi-instrumentalist performer of music, playing guitar, mandolin, Northumbrian smallpipes, and concertina. He continues to give the rare concert at clubs and music festivals across Canada and the northern United States. Laskin is the co-founder of the folk label, Borealis Records, which has released 125 titles to-date and represents over 40 artists.