Naming & Painting your own harp?

Posted by Davy Clark on

Did you know a tradition in North America involves harpists naming their harps, much like naming a pet? Have you considered naming your own harp(s)? Yep, that is right, harps, plural. Many folks own several favorite harps and similar stringed instruments. 

For instance, I own a pre-made mountain dulcimer. For my own self, I made a 22 string music therapy lap harp; made a 22 string lyre (& have a similar 2nd one on the bench right now). I made a Kovac model 36 String Paraguayan harp; made a 26 string Kovac model Harpune. And, just yesterday finished another 26 string Harpune specially painted for my personal Clinical Music [music therapy] use in hospitals, nursing homes, religious worship and "soaking", etc. 

My large 36 String Paraguayan is called, "Erin" and is painted & decorated with a Celtic theme. The picture of this harp can be seen down on this webpage's Davy C Pre-built Harps section on the landing page.

My latest harp, the 26 string Harpune described above, is shown in the attached picture. I have yet to name it. I am still involved in the long process of tuning the harp as the strings continue to stretch and the soundboard finds its final, flexed position. Yet, what should its name be? Any suggestions?

Of course, a harp's name should be personal & meaningful to each owner or maker. It might also reflect our own personality or become named in a complementary fashion with the mission or purpose for which we created the harp (or, bought a pre-built) for. Or, perhaps, the name might just be for fun and only reflects the nature of the harp itself. The sky's the limit, as they say.

And, the awesome thing about building your own harp is you get to decorate it in any way you please. You might consider staying in tradition or perhaps, you might let you or your friend's creative juices flow, finishing & decorating your harp with perhaps the most wildest of themes & colors! You are free to create and are beholden to none concerning your own creation and artwork. Go for it!


This latest harp (pictured above) is actually put together from components from 3 different harps. John Kovac made the Neck and Pillar some years ago and at that time, commissioned Guatemala's superb artist, Antonio Gonzales to paint scenes on these two parts. Antonio's artwork depicts Antonio's home and native flora & fauna at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, Central America. (Which is one of John Kovac's favorite places to visit every year and play traditional harp music with the locals.)

So, I painted the rest of the harp to match Antonio's artwork and commissioned my own partner, Jan, to paint flower arrangements on the sides of the harp. I had her add just enough to complement Antonio's work but without distracting from his work of which I wanted to highlight.

When you get done with your own harp and name it, please, consider sending in your pictures and names and I will post them in our Testimonies page on this website. 

Thanks for reading and many blessings to you!

Happy naming & painting!

Davy C


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