Monday, May 11, 2009

Harping on It a Little

Whew! After a few weeks of rain and cold that kept me out of my partially-heated studio for most of the time, we’re now experiencing our more typical May weather of sun, some fog, and some warmth. (Warm in Santa Cruz is anytime the temperature is over 65 degrees.) The warmer days make it better for glues to set well and for finishes to dry more efficiently.

Because of the nice days, I was able to finally finish the small, medieval-style harp I’d been trying to complete for the last month. It is approximately 75% salvaged wood. The back is coopered, like old wooden barrel and tank staves, and made from Harp-5 strips of poplar and black walnut. The soundboard, post and peg “beam” are maple.  I call it “Mercury, The Winged Messenger.” It has 15 nylon strings, tuned diatonically, two octaves, in a C-major scale.

The poplar came from a friend who had been contracted to remove the tree, and he gave me several good two foot long logs that I milled and let dry a few years. The black walnut strips and binding are all scrap from previous projects. The maple soundboard is also scrap. I re-milled some small pieces of maple to 1/8 inch thick, and glued it top-to-bottom, so the grain runs horizontally. Harp-head1

Just yesterday, I finished a small stand so the harp can be displayed upright. Actually, I finished it just in time to take everything to the Santa Cruz Art League to put on display for the 90th Birthday show and Art Fair, May 23 and 24th. I’ll be exhibiting at the Art Fair in Booth 1. Hope to see you all there!

Warm weather beckons. Time to head back to the studio.

Onward through the fog!

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