For those familiar with the Dogwood tree, this brings a chuckle since this flowering beauty attains only a small size… not a species suited to yielding timber of a sufficient dimensions for guitar making. My guitars are made from Rosewood, Mahogany, Maple, etc., all traditional instrument woods.
Dogwood Guitars was started in rural Knox County, Ohio on property that contained a large number of wild Dogwood trees. The Dogwood is notoriously difficult to transplant, but I was fortunate to have them growing as original occupants on the farm.
The Dogwoods are beautiful year round with bright green leaves that turn a lovely maroon in late summer, accompanied by clusters of red berries that attract birds of several species. But the trees are at their most glorious in late April and early May when they burst forth with white flowers. We knew it really was spring when the Dogwoods began to bloom.
There is an old legend about the Dogwood that claims that this tree used to grow to a large, stately size until wood from it was used to make the cross that Christ was crucified on. The old story goes that the tree was shamed by this use, and to prevent its wood from ever being used again in this manner, God blessed the Dogwood with small size. Further, He gave it cross-shaped flowers that bear the blood stains of the crucifixion on each petal.
Of course this story has no factual basis, but it is a beautiful legend none the less. I consider guitar making to be a spiritual endeavor and one that brings me a great deal of personal joy. The natural beauty of my wild Dogwoods and the legend behind them influenced me to choose this name for my guitars.
When we made the decision to relocate Dogwood Guitars to Kansas City, MO in 2012, I wondered if the name would be as appropriate in our new location as it had been in Ohio. Imagine my pleasure when I discovered that the Dogwood is the state tree of Missouri!
Now that Dogwood Guitars is back in Mount Vernon, Ohio, things have come full circle. Our new property is only a few minutes from our former location and I am looking forward to seeing those flowering Dogwood trees each May.