Creative Ceramics Turn Guitar Amps into Art

Furniture & Lighting Music
Creative Ceramics Turn Guitar Amps into Art


In 2008 I relocated to North Carolina. I was jobless and living with my parents. My parents are pretty creative people, so after they retired, instead of golfing or extensively traveling, they decided that they where going to invest in a ceramic studio located in their residence. I had previous experience with ceramics and always thought that it was my best medium.

My choice to use ceramics for these objects is simple. I was inspired by the rich history of potters here in NC. Especially where my parents reside presently in Sherrills Ford in Catawba Co. Plus, I already knew how to work with ceramics.

It all started when I was hanging out at my buddies house, and he had a bunch of kids toys ripped apart where he would take the electronics and hook up 1/2 inch cables to them in order to get weird signals for recording. One of these projects had a speaker attached to it. I was floored. It got me to think about what kind of objects you could apply a speaker to. Then it hit me like a wave.

I thought look how ugly my practice amp looks on my end-table. I want to make something that looks cool, and that I can play without compromising the overall look of a room.

Each Piece varies widely in the time it took to make. The prototype took many hours. I added lots of hardware to attach the speaker and guts of the amp. The official first one (face jug) took many hours as well since there was a lot of aesthetic qualities that I added. The 2nd one with the wood took much longer since I crafted the wood that holds it up. The latest one only took 10 hours to make since I wanted a simple and clean design.

9 thoughts on “Creative Ceramics Turn Guitar Amps into Art

  1. Erik Kluiber says:

    Congrats John! Very Very cool.

  2. David says:

    Very interesting. Any conclusions as to how using earthenware or stoneware affects the tone? How are you coping with the stresses of a heavily vibrating speaker and avoiding cracking the enclosure – by using very thick walls?

    1. Jonathan Nardone says:

      With this material, the tone is altered. In my experience, the tone has more to do with the vessel rather than the acoustic properties of the stoneware, since stoneware has almost no acoustic qualities at all. Although it is rigid, the wave length of the frequencies required to shatter earthenware would be enormous compared to what is being housed in these cases.

  3. David says:

    So no conclusions concerning the tonal difference between them, stone and earthenware that is. By the material having “no acoustic properties” – what does that mean? Are you are suggesting….it is not acoustically reflective, or a lack of resonance at any frequency?

    1. Jonathan Nardone says:

      I suppose I should have not have said “no acoustic properties”, since everything on earth has tonal properties at a given frequency and amplitude. Ceramic is not a good resonator. It is just that If I was going for an amp focused only on tone I would not use ceramic. In short, they do not like low end very much. I compensate for this by having the inside as uncluttered as possible to achieve a vessel. The instruments that they like are banjos and mandolins. My Strat sounds way better than my Les Paul. Anything with a lot of high end. Imagine singing in the shower. Each one has their own unique tonal difference.

      1. David says:

        The creativity, the uniqueness, is admirable. Acoustic instruments are intended to resonate – generally not desirable in a loudspeaker’s enclosure. The material, and of course its form and volume (size), colour the sound. Vitrification would an operative word here.

        1. Jonathan Nardone says:

          I am thinking of adding a wood resonator to enhance low end. My intensions where for aesthetic qualities only, however they came out sounding pretty neat.

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