PRS: How long have you been carving?
Floyd Scholz: I've been carving for 42 years. I never imagined that my boyhood hobby would evolve into a vocation. I feel truly blessed to do what I love, earn a good living, and meet and work with wonderful people.
So you were familiar with PRS prior to Paul Reed Smith contacting you then?
Oh, yes. I clearly remember my thoughts the first time I ever held and played a PRS: "If I were to design and build an electric guitar for myself, it would be exactly like this." The guitar was a deep blue Custom 24, and the year was 1989. Although I could not afford it then, it gave me something special to work toward, and I began saving every spare dollar I had.
What inspired you to save all of your money for this particular guitar?
The overall playability and workmanship was the best I had ever seen, and I was expecting that. I had heard a lot about these carefully crafted instruments. But I wasn't expecting just how right it felt. It was like putting on an old pair of jeans. "This man, Paul Reed Smith, must REALLY know what he's doing," I remember thinking. "He's someone I'd sure like to know." Sadly, that guitar sold two days before I went back to buy it.
That must have been a huge disappointment. And you were so close! But back to carving: How does the process differ on guitars as opposed to sculpture?
I'm constantly challenged to create an illusion of depth in a low relief carving on a curved top. The highly figured maple used in the tops can be a real test of a woodcarver's resolve. Tools must be kept EXTRA sharp! These carved maple guitar tops are much more difficult for me to work on than a three-dimensional sculpture.
So when did you first meet Paul Reed Smith?
I met Paul back in 1992, and it was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. As a professional artist, I admire other people who turn their dreams into reality. The care and attention to detail that each PRS employee puts forth in their work is something I wish every owner of a PRS guitar could witness.
Speaking of care and attention to detail, your work is on full display at PRS headquarters.
Knowing that my Golden Eagle stands proud welcoming visitors from far and wide at the corporate entrance in Stevensville makes me very, very happy. Thank you, PRS, for allowing me the honor of contributing to the best. And I know the best is yet to come!