February 8, 2017. A couple of years since my last post!! Amazing!
Yes, things have changed here and first I would like to focus on my harps. They have been going and coming since I last posted and now I have just four. I still have and love my pedal harp, Anya and my lever harp, Fiona. I did have a 33 string lever wire harp, but sadly was never able to play it because the strings just kept on breaking. Then after re-stringing it can take a few weeks for them to hold pitch. The last time I was tuning the harp, I witnessed a cascade failure - 15 strings broke, one after the other. I could do nothing but stand and watch. it was decision time - whether to sell or even more drastic, re-string with nylon and hope (lots of work). We chose the latter option and are absolutely delighted with the result. The harp has a deep resonance and beautiful tone, so it's going to be a keeper.
But I was now without a wire strung harp and really wanted to learn to play one. My husband found one online and we decided to go ahead and order The Venerable Cherry, as it's maker had named it. The maker is James Skeen of Folcharp.com in the Tennessee mountains. Here is a link to a demo on my actual harp, with James playing.
James shipped it to us from Tennessee and so we had to wait for a week. The funniest part was opening the box and seeing how he had packed it. Very inventive!! Our dog thought it was great fun.
The harp (a traditional Scottish Clarsach) has 26 strings and can sit in my lap to be played. The strings are brass wire. Now I will have to do a lot of practising, as it is a very different technique to my other harps.
Phil and I have just started putting together the musical pieces for our second CD and, again, a lot of practice required. Nearly all the pieces will be new to us and so it will be harder than the first CD (Parallel Passage), which contained pieces we currently played. We have been delighted with the response to Parallel Passage and people have been asking when the next one will be out. I would guess the end of March. Fingers tightly crossed.
The Artful Dragon Studio
For 2016 I had decided to try mixing resin and wood - The DragonWood Collection. It was icky, sticky and very messy, but I liked the results. I have also been working with polymer clay in different ways and it has certainly be a learning curve, but lots of fun. Check out KaleidoScapes and some of the other collections at this link.
2017 will hopefully be another year of discovery. Presently, I am trying to decide exactly what my new collections will consist of and so "watch this space".