Nick Pourfard upcycles the very decks you’ve deemed unrideable and turns them into musical works of art.
Name: Nick Pourfard
Hometown: San Diego
Occupation: Owner/Luthier at Prisma Guitars
Company established: 2014
Best trick: BS Hurricane
Favorite video: First Love
The Manifold: Tell us a bit about your background. Are you an artist? A designer?
Nick Pourfard: I like to think of myself as a designer or a problem solver. I think that what I do is thought of as art, but it feels strange to call it that myself.
I have always been into design and how things are made or how they work. I recently graduated college from San Francisco State University in Business Marketing and Industrial Design. I hope that one day I can design something great.
TM: Your work reminded me a lot of the work of artist scuptlor Haroshi. Are you also inspired by him? Regardless, how did you come up with the concept behind Prisma Guitars?
NP: He is really inspiring and a great sculptor/artist. I am not inspired so much by what he is making, as much as I am his process of thinking.
The first time I heard of Haroshi, my brother showed me the guitar he made. I was sad because I had built a guitar from skateboards. Later, I thought about how it was okay because we have different styles and approaches. I respect his patience and perfection.
I started Prisma Guitars as a hobby. I wanted to build something I couldn’t buy. It wasn’t until somebody asked to buy one that I started the business.
TM: You are self taught in woodworking. Tell us about that process. Do you feel you have a good sense of things now?
NP: I began learning from videos and books. I would buy tools, watch safety videos, then build anything that allowed me to use that tool. I was always alone when I worked. It helped me really learn from mistakes and grow my patience.
TM: So it’s pretty obvious music and skating are your passions. Who amongst these fields are your heroes and why? And who would make your wish list as far as making a guitar for.
NP: In skating, my biggest hero is Wes Kremer. He is from my hometown. I grew up watching him. We became friends. I have never met anyone who is more respected by his peers. Yes, he is amazing at skating, but he is also a very genuine guy.
In music, I always listen to Jimi Hendrix. Maybe too much ha! I wish he were alive, so I could send him a guitar.
TM: I saw somewhere that you got to design a guitar for Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. Tell us about that experience and how that came about.
I met his daughter in San Francisco. She told me that her dad would love a guitar. I asked who her dad was, but she didn’t tell me. I found out later and was pretty excited. Definitely gave me some confidence in building. I tried my best to build a guitar that paid homage to his past stage guitars. He liked it!
TM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
NP: I see this company grown and pushing more limits with this material. I also see this brand becoming a culture brand that people will want to associate with who do and don’t have relation to skating or music.
TM: How many people help you produce your guitars and how many do you produce?
NP: I have 2 people helping me now. I have a guitar tech and another builder.
TM: And lastly, this issue is about instant gratification. What comes to mind when I say that?
NP: That is why I started doing this. I feel good after something I thought of is reality or when someone else appreciates my craftsmanship. It keeps me going.
For more info prismaguitars.com