Noun - Picksmith: an artist who makes plectrums to be used on stringed instruments.
Picksmithing, or plectrumsmithing, is an art form that began centuries ago in Asia, Persia and Arabia, and eventually spread into the classical era of European music. Historically, stringed instrument builders (and players) would create specifically styled plectrums to enhance their musical performances.
For example: an Oud player traditionally uses a long plectrum handcrafted from a quill, horn or bone by a picksmith.
Due to the worldwide popularity and versatility of the six-string guitar, contemporary picksmiths primarily create "guitar picks" from various materials including coins, metals, wood, bone, horn and synthetics. Consequently, cheap mass-manufactured plastic guitar picks have been loosing popularity in recent years as players from novice to professional rediscover the uniquely enhanced tonal differences handcrafted guitar picks provide.
Meet the world's
Dustin Michael Headrick
For over a decade, Nashville native Dustin Michael Headrick has been crafting guitar & mandolin picks from unique coins, antique metals, bone, horn, wood, and other materials from around the world. His signature brands Master Artisan Guitar Picks and Nashville Picks have become highly respected in the worldwide guitar community. Dustin is most recognized for his handcrafted coin and antique metal guitar picks known for their brilliant shimmering harmonic tonality, durability and versatility.
Vinni Smith's Nashville-based V-Picks are a standard in the world of guitars and guitar picks. V-Picks are handcrafted acrylic guitar picks available in a wide variety of shapes and thicknesses, each creating a distinct feel and tonality. Contemporary guitarists such as Carlos Santana, Brad Whitford, Billy Gibbons and Phil Keaggy are just a few of the artists that regularly use V-Picks.
Also a Nashville native, Dal Ellington handcrafts upcycled guitar picks from vinyl records. Vinyl picks are known to create a solidly warm tonality and increased volume. Dal expands on the artform with unique hand-painted designs, pick-themed jewelry and various other vinyl artworks.
Mike Stone of Stoneworks Picks creates the finest handcrafted stone guitar picks in the world from a variety of natural stone in dozens of different styles. Stone picks are known to be harmonically rich and voluminous, with a glassy pick drift and feel.
Plexstrum is the artisan moniker for picksmith Tadd Naw; his brands include Purple Plectrums and Ezee Pluckin. Tadd's unique designs are crafted from contemporary thermoplastics in a variety of thicknesses and colors, and are known for their ergonomic stylization and comfort.
Kauai Hawaii glass artist Rosemary Pierro has been creating amazing glass plectrums for years, and has gained a following in the world of guitarists and music-lovers alike. Glass plectrums are renowned for their bright harmonic tonality and smooth pick drift.
Knoxville Tennessee native Matthew Goins is the man behind Blue Chip Picks, the most recognized and sought after synthetic handcrafted guitar picks in Bluegrass and Folk music. Blue Chip Picks are prized for their unique tonality, durability and volume on acoustic instruments.
Dutch picksmith Michel Wegen has become a household name for guitarists in Europe and around the world. His handcrafted thermoplastic guitar picks are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, and normally feature an ergonomic surface grip.