What do jazz and rock legends Wolf Mail, Richard Smith, Steve Balbi and Pat Drummond have in common? We asked Mark Gilbert from Mark Gilbert Guitars…
Covered by Jason Ross, Marketing and Communications Officer for Responsible Wood
Located in the hustle and bustle of downtown Hobart, Mark Gilbert’s Guitar ‘man cave’ is filled with wall to wall posters of the who’s who of blues, jazz and rock.
Greeted at the ‘man cave’ entrance, Wolf Mail cuts an impressive figure.
A French Canadian blues rock guitarist and singer, Wolf has recorded 6 full-length albums, internationally distributed and has toured in over 26 countries.
What can we say, the man can play…
Wolf is in town to celebrate Mark Gilbert’s 60th birthday, the two struck up an unlikely friendship after the French Canadian played a gig in Tasmania – the relationship developed further after Wolf used Gilbert’s ‘Thylacine’ guitar.
Today Wolf plays Mark Gilbert’s guitars, exclusively and proudly so.
His weapons of choice are the Mark Gilbert WMI1 signature bearing his name and the Mark Gilbert BC electro – acoustic guitar.
BC as in Before Christ, a testimony to Huon Pine, the slow growing timber used in the guitar.
And Wolf is not the only one.
“More and more Australian and international artists are now using my guitars, it’s incredible, it’s all in the timber, we are fortunate to have some of the finest timbers in the world right here in Tasmania.”
“Wolf is one of the first to support me but today we are endorsed by guitar players the world over including the acclaimed Richard Smith, the full professor of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California” Mr Gilbert said.
For Wolf its all in the sound and in the wood.
“Not only does the guitar look amazing but it sounds incredible, it’s all in the luthiering” Mr Mail said.
According to Mark, Tasmanian Blackwood comes from the same family as Koa and is similar to Brazilian Rosewood and African Blackwood – a superior acoustic composition that provides superior tone and appearance.
“Brazilian Rosewood has now been added to the CITIES treaty and is strictly banned for exportation.”
“Widely used in many of the best acoustic and electronic guitars, it was not properly harvested and can only be used in guitars that predate the 1992 treaty”
“It’s really a tragedy, the timber was not responsibly harvested and now we are at risk of losing the timber species forever,” Mr Gilbert said.
This therein provides the opportunity for Mark to export his unique guitars throughout the world.
And Responsible Wood certification, through its international endorsement by the Programme of Endorsement for Forest Certification (PEFC) plays an important role in allowing Mark to export his sound far and wide.
“Sustainability is crucial, we have a precious commodity that we must ensure is not abused. We must learn from the mistakes of Brazilian Rosewood.”
“This is why I am a licensee of Fine Timber Tasmania’s chain of custody system and proudly carry the Responsible Wood ‘trust mark’.”
“Responsible Wood, through its international PEFC endorsement, makes it so much easier to export timber overseas, the PEFC endorsement is an absolute must as it has mutual recognition throughout Northern America, Europe, Asia and the world over.”
“It’s been a real game changer for me.”
“Responsible Wood is all about responsible foresting and renewal, it’s my ‘trust mark’ ensuring that Tasmanian Blackwood and Huon Pine is growing vibrantly in Tasmanian forests for many years to come,” Mr Gilbert said.
Proudly Tasmanian, Mark Gilbert guitars are one of 30 Tasmanian timber businesses covered by the Fine Timber Tasmania Group Chain of Custody system.
“Fine Timber Tasmania provides a system that manages our Responsible Wood Chain of Custody certification, because it covers the full supply chain for timber, we the system effectively demonstrates the origin and ensures timber sourced from Tasmanian forests meet environmental and social credentials.”
Through Responsible Wood and Fine Timber Tasmania Mark’s guitars are taking the music world by storm.