In addition to creating our core line of instruments, PRS has a team of highly talented, seasoned guitar makers crafting instruments known as “Private Stock.”
Paul Reed Smith says it best here: “The goal of Private Stock is not only to create the most beautiful and best playing guitar money can buy, but the best sounding. We work very closely with each order - through hourly discussions, experimentation, meticulous checks of every detail at each step in the process and making final tweaks when the guitar is complete - to make sure we are building the best guitars possible. If you get an extraordinary instrument from Private Stock that is equally as good as a family heirloom and a musician’s tool to make a living on, we have done our job.”
In the spring of 2013, the Private Stock team created an all new inlay style available for order on any private stock guitar.
In this interview, we sit down with Paul Miles, our Private Stock director, to get an inside look on this brand new “Nouveau” inlay.
LH: Who exactly was it that designed these? Rumor has it that it was someone from outside of PRS.
PM: Jaime Aulson, formerly of Pearl Works but now with her own company, Aulson Inlays, did that design for us. I think we got prototypes of them last summer, before Experience PRS 2012. Incidentally, Jaime also did work on the special ‘brushstroke bird’ inlays for the limited run of Paul’s Guitar.
LH: Cool. How did you guys find her? Or, how did you end up working with her on the inlays?
PM: We get all of our inlays – well, 99% of our inlays – from Pearl Works. We knew Jaime when she worked there and when she moved, we decided we still wanted to work with her. The thing about Jaime is that she’s got such creative freedom; Paul [Reed Smith] will have an idea for an inlay and ask her about it, and she’ll send him some designs.
LH: And is that where the Nouveau inlay comes in?
PM: Basically, she brings in designs every year (usually a little before Experience PRS) and shows them around. Last year, she brought in the Nouveau on a sample, and everybody here liked the design. It’s got a cool, retro, vintage feel to it. Anyway, we decided that we would make it available.
LH: What do you mean by ‘available?’
PM: If a dealer or a customer wants this design, they can order it custom on any Private Stock guitar.
LH: And that goes for any buyer, anywhere?
PM: Yes. This design is available world-wide. What happens is that we send out a few guitars with this new inlay to our representatives, wherever they are, and then other dealers and players see the guitars,and they write us and say stuff like, “I’ve never seen a PRS guitar that looks like this! What is it? Can I order one?” They kind of go viral.
LH: That’s pretty cool.
PM: Sure is.
LH: Well, thanks again for sitting down with us. It was great talking to you!
PM: Sure, anytime.