Handiwork goes into creation of rock ‘n’ roll museum

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Clovis Sign Service employees Trace Shealy, front, and Jeremiah Mascarenas work together to glue the bridge to the body of a 9-foot guitar that will be part of the entrance to the Norman and Vi Petty Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

The smell of glue permeated the workshop of Clovis Sign Services as three staff members busied themselves at waist-high tables, gluing oversized bridges to curved bodies of a Fender Stratacaster replica.

The shop has been commissioned to construct the entrance to the Norman and Vi Petty Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum at the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, which will include a 9-foot tall guitar that will hang on an awning lined with musical notes.

“It makes me proudest that we got it all done locally,” said Ernie Kos, executive director of the chamber. “It’s great that they had the expertise to do it.”

The $30,000 project will be paid for by a state grant.

Clovis Sign Services began work on the pieces of the entrance on Monday. The work is expected to take six employees two to three weeks.

Co-owner Tina New said there are more than 20 steps to the process of making the guitar a reality.

“We take the first thought, we tweak it, and figure out how to actually make it,” New said.

New said multiple people will be involved in the project such as designers, painters, fabricators, and people who work with neon.

“It’s fun because it’s original. Its got shape, its got personality,” she said. “We’re a creative team here. We work to make things more original.”

New said taking the two-dimensional computer generated design and transforming it into the real thing takes a human touch.

“It’s half made by a machine and half handmade,” said New, describing that machines can only do so much. “We’ll take it and put a lot of the details in by hand.”

The Clovis/Curry Chamber of Commerce has been working on the entrance to the rock ‘n’ roll museum located in the building’s basement for about 14 months, according to Clovis Industrial Development Corp. Executive Director Chase Gentry.

The chamber plans to have the entrance and museum ready well before the grand opening scheduled for Sept. 6 during the Clovis Music Festival.

“It is meant to honor the memory of Norman and Vi Petty. We wanted it to be fun, but also prestigious,” Gentry said.

The museum will contain relics of rock ‘n’ roll history, with most of it pertaining specifically to the Pettys and their influence on the community.

Norman Petty is best know for as a producer for Buddy Holly.