A background in physics and a love for music leads to new guitar pick

Back in 1982, Jerry Mearini was all set to study guitar at Berklee College of Music when he abruptly changed his mind. “The day before I was supposed to go, I realized that I couldn’t play guitar for the rest of my life,” he recalls. Instead Mearini earned a degree in physics from Ohio State and a masters and PhD in experimental physics from CWRU.
Mearini’s decision to study physics paid off well. In 1998 he founded Genvac Aerospace, a company in Highland Heights that produces materials and components for the aerospace industry using diamond-like carbon.  
But music was still in Mearini’s blood. He has played guitar in a local classic rock and heavy metal band for 40 years. Two years ago, he began merging his love of rock and roll, physics and diamond-like carbon films into one to create Rock Hard diamond guitar picks.
The stainless steel picks are coated with a thin layer of carbon. They provide a smooth but hard metal surface, but without friction, that won’t wear. “The last few years I’ve been looking at opportunities to put some of this diamond-like carbon in picks,” Mearini explains. “It just does not scratch. The coating resulted in a fantastic new guitar pick.”
Now Mearini has made a few hundred picks, launched a Indiegogo campaign, and is about to open an Amazon store. The picks range from $20 with an Indiegogo contribution to $30 on Amazon. And he says all manufacturing can be done in Cleveland. “All of the facilities necessary to make this product are probably best found in Cleveland,” he says.
Mearini says musicians have praised the picks for their properties. “So far, every guitarist I’ve given them to has liked them,” he boasts. “I have to admit, this is a lot of fun.”

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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