About the project “Queen of Spades”
The project is dedicated to the 215th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Pushkin.
Playing card theme in the design of guitars is not new, but still popular. I was asked to make a copy of LP Joker many times. However, copying such an author’s work is sacrilegious from my point of view, and for personal reasons, I decided not to use this theme any more. Therefore, I was politely refusing other requests. However, there was a customer who could not be rejected! He had this ability to persuade (including financially). The decisive factor in my agreement was when I was given the complete freedom to choose the plot that would guide the design. You may say I had a chance to jump off the idea of the topic in a beautiful and intelligent way? So the idea was formed around the plot of Pushkin’s novel “The Queen of Spades”. The customer was a bit surprised by the choice, but did not object, saying that he completely relied on my taste (ah, this crude Slavic flattery …) The only wish was not to use the image of the gun in the design and use curly maple as binding.
From this moment, the torments of creativity began. I had the idea of the smoldering Queen of Spades card and the appearance of the old Countess’s face from the smoke, but with the implementation problems arose. All my guitars are painted by artist Daniil Ermolovich. This time he kindly agreed to participate in the project. Then suddenly it became clear that old faces were not his forte. As I tried to explain what emotion the old woman’s face should express, everything looked different on the sketches. I had to get Daniil to read the work to feel its atmosphere. He, by the way, later thanked me for compulsory education ? Anyway, it did give the result. Somewhat from the unexpected side, but still.
In the old Soviet adaptation of “Queen of Spades”, the Countess was somewhat manly. This is exactly the version of her I wanted to see. Daniil offered to look at pictures from a movie about Dracula, where some of the angles of the protagonist could be taken as a basis. That’s how the image of the grinning old woman appeared.
I decided to make the capo in the style of a card. I had to search throughout the Internet to find a very beautiful card collage made in the old style. Card suits from the collage were also used in the design of control knobs. The font for the name is also from that era – the first edition of the “Queen of Spades” abroad was designed exactly like it. Of course, Pushkin’s self-portrait is a must for any work such as this. To top it off – the engraving of the poet’s signature was placed on the anchor lid. The signature, by the way, is very rare and it was discovered only recently. Of all the options, this seemed to me to be the most successful.
The last thing I wanted to use in the design was, of course, the famous triple-seven-ace. Here I had to try to harmoniously weave this set into a common outline as best as possible. We even had to raise the question of what specific suits these cards were. It turned out that Pushkin did not have a clear definition, but based on indirect evidence, at least the ace was a heart. This gave me the confidence to make inlays with such a suit. A goose feather elegantly emphasizes the belonging of this story to the literary genre.
And that is how this beautiful card-themed instrument came to life!
I want to express my admiration for the customer. As it turned out, he never once (!) looked at the photo report of work until he received his instrument. He left the surprise for when he received the work.
In the end, both the work and the surprise were a success – all were satisfied ?
p.s. Music in the style of Russian romance was written specially for this instrument by the composer, arranger and guitarist of the Presidential Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus Vlad Mazurkevich. Huge thanks to him for his work.