Working with Clemson University engineer associate Brad Poore, they developed a pick from the same material used by NASA in the construction of the space shuttle. It was chosen for its unusually high durability against wear, something of concern to all string musicians using costly natural or synthetic picks.
Shawn provided the expertise as a professional musician, while Brad, also a picker, brought his nearly two decades of experience in design and fabricating to the table.
The I-Tone has been warmly received by bluegrass and acoustic players, and Shawn and Brad are ready to introduce a new, limited edition pick. Made from the same material as the original I-Tone, the Limited Edition Onyx model is jet black, with a heavier feel without having to use a thicker material.
Lane says that it comes from a special hardener they are using in the formulation.
“This Limited Edition of the I-Tone Pick is made of the original I-Tone material, but with a touch of diamond hardener added to it. This hardener was added just to see what would happen. It was never meant to be made into a pick until it turned out so unique. The Onyx brings the feel of a heavier, thicker pick, without physically making the pick any thicker than the Original I-Tone 41, while retaining the same durability and extremely high wear rating as the original ivory colored material.
Just like the Original I-Tone Pick, the Onyx version has its own feel and tone characteristics. Also, as an added bonus, the modification process turned the color of this pick to a beautiful, streamline jet black. The I-Tone Onyx will be a limited run of picks. The Original ivory colored I-Tone material will continue to be the main focus of our pick production going forward.”
The Onyx I-Tone goes on sale tomorrow (9/22) online.Both styles sell for $35 each.
Shawn will also have some of both varieties at the Blue Highway booth at the Wide Open Bluegrass exhibit hall next weekend. There is no charge to visit the exhibit hall during the StreetFest and Wide Open Bluegrass.