Inspired by the resourcefulness of residents in South African townships, who repurpose waste materials into playable instruments, two brothers have developed a line of electric guitars made from upcycled and recycled components.
Adam and Shaun Lee, who spent their childhood in Johannesburg, South Africa, shared a love for the sounds of simple homemade instruments, as well as a penchant for turning broken instruments and recycled components into "playable works of art," and their company, Bohemian Guitars, is now turning out electric guitars that sound as good as they look.
Their original idea was conceived as an alternative to the "overpriced and bland musical instruments" currently on the market, and Bohemian Guitars was launched last year, via Kickstarter, in order to meet the need for "stylish and trendy guitars" that were both affordable and of high quality. The campaign was a big success, raising almost double the $30,000 goal, and now the company is offering not only pre-built guitars, but also a series of "Build-A-Boho" guitars featuring vintage upcycled oil cans.
"Bohemian Guitars mission is to build funky, unique and functional instruments out of oil cans for real, everyday use."
The Boho Series of oil can guitars consists of four options, each a somewhat different look and configured for a certain type of sound, starting at $299. The bodies of these guitars are made from recycled steel, not upcycled oil cans, but for another $150, they offer their Vintage Series, which are built with one-of-a-kind vintage oil cans as the guitar bodies, and which are offered with a variety of options (tuners, bridge, pickups, colors, etc.).
The following video is a Microsoft commercial, but it also showcases Bohemian Guitars, so you'll have to ignore the Windows product advertising:
In addition to offering customers a great sounding upcycled oil can guitar, Bohemian Guitars also salvages guitar parts, guitar necks, scrap metal, and other materials to reduce some of the need for new materials, and offsets the wood demand from their business by planting a tree for each one sold (through Trees for the Future). The company also promotes youth music education through its program Far.Out.Fridays., which donates one of their guitars to a partner organization for each one sold on Fridays.
Find out more about these upcycled oil can electric guitars at Bohemian Guitars.