“I continued this hobby in my wood shed for five years, using old and battered skate decks and turning them into multicolored electric guitars. Because skateboards go through abundant wear and tear, they become obsolete after they are broken or worn down. My goal was to find a new function for them. I graduated from college in May 2015 and have since launched Prisma Guitars, where all guitars are built using the wood from broken and used skateboards. Prisma Guitars are all 100% handmade and the colors are completely one-of-a-kind for every build.”
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