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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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harp research

My harp research continues. As I've mentioned before, I've decided to get a Larry Fisher harp; he's a Celtic harpmaker out in Winnipeg, a friend of Dave Clement's and Tom Jeffers, and who has made a harp for Loreena McKennitt. Annie Walker also recommended him.

Larry and I have been e-mailing back and forth; I find the process fascinating, especially since I am completely harp-ignorant (except from a typical listener's point of view). He's been wonderful throughout, and extremely patient.

We've talked about types of wood (I'll likely opt for maple), possible artwork, carrying cases. Eventually I'd like to take this to some cons, so am opting for a Superlightweight Harp Case from Colorado Cases, one with wheels added on as well as fiberglass corners...incidentally, this company carries soft cases for all kinds of instruments, including guitars. You can get padded shoulder straps added, extra pockets, double insulation, wheels, embroidery, applique, etc. I'm going to consider getting one for my guitar, whose case is sadly disintegrating.

A question about soft guitar of my fears is that the airlines won't let me take the guitar on board with me even if it's in a soft case; that I'll end up having to check it (and then it will be more vulnerable than it would have been in a rigid case). Any advice, travelling guitarists out there? I will definitely have to get a new guitar case within the next year or so.

Anyway, I'm excited about my harp. I find myself purposely thinking about it whenever I get too stressed these days; it doesn't exist yet, but still comforts me. :-)

Annie Walker told me I should name my harp (both she and Talis have named theirs, I notice). :-) I've started researching Celtic names.

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