HangFire is really excited about the guitar amplifiers we are building and have released our first model, the Testifyre. It's funny how things can evolve and 'From Small Things Big Things One Day Come' holds true to form in how we got here from there.
It began with me purchasing a Hello Kitty Strat for my daughter, Karsin, who was 5 at the time. We found the guitar on Craigs List and when we went to pick it up the seller, taken by Karsin, lowered the price and threw in a little Peavey amp. We got home and I put the amp in her room and she immediately informed me that she didn't want a black amp and didn't want it in her room. Fair enough, I took the amp apart and painted it metallic pink, went to the fabric store and customized the grill cloth with an apple green and multi colored polka dot number and painted the knobs different colors.
Not bad. She loved it! The only problem was that after seeing Karsin's amp I quickly realized that I didn't want a black amp either. I had some really awesome green faux hand tooled leather that I had been sitting on and hadn't know what to do with until that moment. Concerned that I might not do a perfect job, having never done anything like this before, I was hesitant to mess with my Music Man's cabinet lest I bollocks up the job. My solution was to build a cabinet to the same specs from scratch which I managed with relative ease. Next up was "dressing" it. This was the part that I was really worried about. To my delight it came off with nary a hitch and looked totally pro upon completion. I finished it off with a silver sequin adorned grill cloth and ended up with an amp that Dwight Yoakam would die for. Hmmmmm, I begin thinking. This could be a very cool thing.
Next up I had a little Velocette amp that I thought I'd give a makeover. This time, however, I decided I would redesign the cabinet. I gave it a slant face and thought it would be cool to elevate it a bit so I built in a second chamber under the speaker cab with a hatch on the back to stow cords, pedals, straps and contraband if I was ten years younger. I covered it in a teal reptile patterned vinyl and found this wicked Silk Brocade fabric for the grill cloth. The Teal Gator was born!
At this point I decided it was time to venture into the uncharted (for me) waters of Boutique Tube Amplifiers. My knowledge of electronics is about on a par with my nuclear physics expertise so I looked around and happened upon Ben Verellen at Verellen Amplifiers. Ben has an electrical engineering degree from the University of Washington and is producing some really stellar amps. I approached him with what I was doing and he agreed to design and produce the 'guts'.
The prototype was called the Revelator and went over in a big way at the Seattle guitar show.
Time to build some Revs! But as fate would have it some other genius had already built a boutique amp and stole my name before I thought of it! The Revelator logo that I designed featured a halo and devil's tail and the clean and dirty channels were thusly dubbed Halo and Horns. This was something I didn't want to give up, so after a bit of brainstorming and logo redesigning the Testifyre came to be with the halo and devil's tail graphics retained. The plan was to build five and then follow up with another five. I was stoked but wanted the cabinet to be as fetching as the rest of the amp design. In short, I decided it needed to resemble a sculpture, and the night before production began I drew up a new blue print (it wasn't really blue but what the hell, right?). The cabinet shape I came up with has a profile that looks very much like a boomerang with 3/4 of one of the wings cut off. It turned out to be my favorite element and really gave the Testifyre an edge or 'attitude' if you will, which I'm all for, possessing a bit of one myself.
And that is our story thus far.
However, should you love the sound of your own vintage tube amp, but wish it looked as awesome as it sounds? Or want a bad ass display case for that special guitar ? Maybe need a pedalboard that will make other guitarists green with envy? How about a custom guitar hanger straight out of a Dr. Seuss book? Or maybe a 3-D carving of your band's logo?
We can do all that, and more. Check out our gallery of custom music gear for examples and products for sale.
We often use shallow shadowbox walls to add a design element and create a little drama in the finished piece. We are constantly adding to our collection of unusual papers, leather, fabrics, etc, that let us add a design element not offered through conventional framing suppliers.
Just need a beautiful frame for your diploma, without color matched inlaid frames or hand-carved mats? No problem; we do that too! Check out our gallery of framing and shadowboxes to see examples of our work.
Outfit your pad with a piece of art by Mark Hutchins, the brains (and hands) behind HangFire Design! Whether it's a triptych of mirrors framed in carved moulding, a mixed-media wall panel based on the Fibonacci Sequence, a rocket-fin bookshelf, an end table in the shape of the Rolling Stones logo, or a lamp made out of a weathered cello, you'll love having a HangFire original in your house.
You can find some recent pieces spotlighted in the fine art gallery.