Iranian refugee in Scotland creates tartan guitar as thank you to locals

Javad 'Jay' Soltani
-Credit: (Image: SWNS)


An Iranian refugee who arrived in Scotland two years ago has created a unique brand of musical instrument to thank the locals for making him feel so welcome.

Javad 'Jay' Soltani crafted a beautiful tartan guitar using ash and wenge wood, and a piece of purple, black, white and grey plaid which is set into the body of the electric bass.

Javad, 40, has called his beautiful creation Caledonia and now wants to set up a business making guitars and teaching other people how to design and craft instruments.

Talented Javad said: "I have created this from my heart to say 'thank-you' to people for all their help.

"Anytime I've needed anything, they have helped me.

"I want to show the guitar all over the world and for it to become known as the Caledonia."

Javad 'Jay' Soltani.
Javad 'Jay' Soltani. -Credit:SWNS

Before he fled the city of Shiraz, Javad studied interior design and painting and had carved out a successful career for himself making classical guitars.

The craftsman and musician, who plays Spanish guitar, made more than 1,000 stringed instruments in seven years.

When he arrived in Inverclyde, Javad approached Bruce Newlands and the team at Inverclyde Shed about his guitar-making idea.

The Shed gave Javad space to host guitar-making workshops which helped members learn more about crafting the instruments.

The incredible creation.
The incredible creation. -Credit:SWNS

He also received support from Ripping Router CNC, Antoine Lamarque from North Star Pick Ups who provided him with a jazz pick-up, and his church Glasgow Kelvin Christadelphians sourced the tartan for him.

It took Javad a year to realise his creation - two months of researching and planning the design, and ten months to craft the finished instrument.

The body of the guitar is made from ash, and the neck and fingerboard made from wenge.

Javad said he was determined to create something completely unique.

He added: "I prefer American fretless guitars.

"I wanted it to be different from any other guitar and a completely new brand.

"I'm so pleased that I've made something so great."

Javad has created a business plan and intends to approach Business Gateway with his ideas.

He said: "I want to keep making guitars and set up a workshop and a business.

"It will be good to be able to show people how to make guitars and have them working with me."

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