Boutique guitarmaker John Parsons ships a piece of Tasmania to his international fans

The blackwood guitar body on the bench of Launceston guitarmaker Jon Parsons shimmers as he gently sands back the surface ready for another coat of oil.

"The grain varies so wildly, you get these beautiful stripes of dark chocolate through a piece that's more of a caramel colour, and then you get highly figured stuff that just reflects the light amazingly," Mr Parsons said.

"It's an incredible timber, it's strong, beautiful and there's not much in the world like it."

Since setting up a guitar repair business five years ago, Parsons has turned his attention to creating unique guitars by hand from his home workshop.

Refined: The headstock with J.Parsons Guitars logo.

Refined: The headstock with J.Parsons Guitars logo.

Taking cues from his guitar-playing mother, Parsons picked up the instrument in primary school before settling on bass as his musical outlet.

The family influence didn't stop with the love of music; his grandfather also being a pivotal figure in Parsons' choice of vocation.

"My granddad was a woodworker so I picked up that side from him. We worked on a few projects together when I was a kid," Parsons said.

Spending an average of 40 hours on a build over a period of two months, Parsons found an audience for his guitar-building adventures online.

They're just fascinated with Tasmanian timber, and the idea of Tasmania itself. They think it's this mystical kingdom on the other side of the world.

Jon Parsons

"Documenting the process and posting it to social media built a bit of a following. People get interested in the journey, they really enjoy following along with a build from start to finish," he said.

Many of Parsons followers are either musicians looking for a bespoke guitar that stands out from the mass-produced models seen in music stores or hobbyists looking to make their own electric guitar.

With the Australian musical instrument market still dominated by the big players such as Fender and Gibson, Parsons has found favour with fans on the other side of the globe.

"The majority of the guitars I've sold have gone to the United States," Parsons said.

"They have a bigger market over there with more people, but their market is moving more to the boutique builder rather than the mass produced big brands."

Planning: Body blanks sit on the workshop floor for a future build.

Planning: Body blanks sit on the workshop floor for a future build.

The overseas buyers are fans of the same thing that Parsons himself fell in love with; the native hardwoods of Tasmania.

"They're just fascinated with Tasmanian timber, and the idea of Tasmania itself," Parsons said.

"They think it's this mystical kingdom on the other side of the world."

The timbers used are hand-picked from small sawmills, with some more exotic species like Celery Top Pine and Huon Pine coming from Hydrowood, a company that recovers timbers submerged in Lake Pieman.

"Some independent millers will find one tree among 100 and know exactly what it's going to be like inside before they cut it down. They're sourcing sustainably and being very particular about what they harvest," Parsons said.

Once the timbers make their way from the mill back to the workshop, Parsons uses elements of traditional stringed instrument-making along with elements of furniture design.

"I draw a lot of inspiration from the classic guitar shapes and what they were going for but I've always had a fascination with furniture builders," Parsons said.

"I follow furniture makers on Instagram for inspiration and to see what they're thinking and I'm looking for stuff that I can bring into the guitar world."

Moving forward with the business Parsons has no plan to expand beyond his one man operation as it stands.

"The future is all about refining the processes so I can build more per year and to challenge myself with new techniques for building," Parsons said.