These unique three-string instruments are hand-crafted by Rick.
Some of the first ones were created for and then in a workshop at the UU Labor Day retreat. (Follow that link for pictures of the workshop.) The retreat was held at Camp O'ty Okwa in the Hocking Hills. We originally called them "O'ty Okwa-tars". The name was shortened to "O'tar", and it stuck.
The design is based on instruments like the Strumstick, the Strumbley, and the long-necked dulcimer. In fact you can use the music, tuning, and playing guides for those instruments for the O'tar, which means there is already a bunch of material readily available to get started playing these.
All of the O'tars, including the ones built at the retreat (except for one) have pickups in them. This means you can plug them into an amp, some distortion effects, and really rock out!
O'tars have gold fretwire set directly in a one piece ash neck. The soundboard is constructed from birch plywood, with different materials sometimes used for the sides and inlays. The nuts and bridges are made from cocobolo.
This celtic horse themed O'tar was built for Rick's niece, Lila.
The sides of the body on this instrument are made out of purpleheart.
This dragon themed O'tar was built for Rick's nephew Jackson.
It features "Jackson" brand tuners.
The sides of the body on this instrument are mahogany.
This O'tar was built for Rick's daughter, Willow.
This O'tar also has purpleheart sides.
This O'tar was built for Rick's son Liam. It has paua abalone inlay.
This is the only O'tar I sold. It sold in the annual First UU auction in February 2010. I finished making it in - June it was the best oneI put together (so far).