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Former soldier’s degree creations hit the high notes

20 July 2015

Rachel Atkinson

Foundation degree student Dean Fraser sells his work to an American hip hop star  

Pic: Dean Fraser with a photo of his recycled burr oak guitar.

 

A former soldier has hit the high notes after selling his foundation degree project to an international hip hop star.

When Dean Fraser uploaded photos of the handmade guitar he created for his University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) course to his social media accounts, little did he know he would soon be selling it to American superstar B.o.B for an undisclosed fee.

Not only did the global music maestro purchase Dean’s recycled oak and resin Luminescent guitar, he also commissioned the married father-of-seven to create a bass in the same style in only five days. And now the Chorley resident is working on a highly confidential third guitar for the rapper.

The former Queen’s Lancashire Regiment and 1st and 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment non-commissioned officer said: “It’s gratifying that a successful recording artist and producer has recognised the beauty and quality of my work. Although I’ve received a lot of positive feedback via my Fraser Guitars Instagram and Facebook pages for the Luminescent guitar, I didn’t anticipate my work would be noticed by staff at B.o.B's new No Genre label.”

 

“B.o.B was enthusiastic about my work. He was looking for innovative designs, a unique and distinctive instrument which he could use on his next project."

The 36-year-old, who took three weeks to design and build the Luminescent guitar, discussed his work over video conference with the Airplanes singer. Dean said: “B.o.B was enthusiastic about my work. He was looking for innovative designs, a unique and distinctive instrument which he could use on his next project. The Luminescent guitar fulfilled the brief.”

Dean, who scribbles down his design ideas on the back of scraps of paper and car park tickets, has always had a love for guitars. He built his first one at the age of 14 and continued to create and sell them during his down time from the Army. His building skills were honed during his 16 years with the military, where he was a Combat Infantry Man, later becoming the Unit Pioneer.

Dean, who toured Northern Ireland twice and Canada, Belize, America and Iraq once, said: “I’ve built over 100 guitars and sold them worldwide. I see the guitar as a canvas and nature as my inspiration. The aesthetics of the piece must resonate with playability and the quality of the sound. Ensuring the instruments I design, and build, have a practical application is a priority.”

 

"I mastered practical skills during my time with the Army. Undertaking my degree at UCLan was a strategic move in order to build upon my current skills by mastering computerised design.”

In October 2012 Dean was medically discharged from the Army with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. He said: “Health concerns aside, I was lucky the skills I had developed during service were transferable to civilian life. I mastered practical skills during my time with the Army and established a successful business in Fraser Guitars within a month of my discharge. Undertaking my degree at UCLan was a strategic move in order to build upon my current skills by mastering computerised design.”

He enrolled at UCLan on a one-year product design foundation degree and will now start on the three-year full-time degree in September at the Preston Campus.

He added: “I’m looking forward to seeing B.o.B playing my guitar and bass, they both sound as stunning as they look. The pieces were made to be seen and I’ve no doubt the audience B.o.B will attract will be a platform to draw further positive attention to my work, both guitars and otherwise. It’s really such an exciting time.”