About six years ago my son came home from school and declared that he wanted to learn the Clarsach. “The What?” was my Sassenach response. Some months later, his teacher, Pippa Reid-Foster spied the incredible “moss-like” lime velvet fabric (Lizong from the Cathay Collection by Nina Campbell) that I had in my work-room. Pippa knew instinctively that this fabric, matched with the black walnut of her Starfish Glenelle harp would make the perfect harp seat. For a long time, Pippa had searched for a seat with a sloped top to assist the posture when playing the lever harp. It was no surprise that after a couple of evenings of throwing ideas about, the Harmony seat was designed.

At this point I engaged Gareth Wilson, woodworker, with whom I had worked with for a number of years.  Gareth came into his own in his approach towards problem solving and bespoke manufacture, and the challenges in bringing to production the organic shapes within these stunning new seating designs.

With over 35 years’ experience working in wood, Gareth has always been driven by achieving the very best. In his drive for perfection, he quickly established a reputation for high quality, very early in his career gaining a Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Wood-turners and two further silver awards at national level with the National Skill-Build Carpentry Awards. Twenty years ago, Gareth set up his own business, Heatherbank Carpentry primarily making one off items for architectural work.

Working in collaboration, together we have hand-made and sold over sixty of the seats, to players as far afield as Australia and the US. The seats are available to try out in the music show-room at Teifi Telenau in Ceredigion, Wales, to purchase through Teifi or direct from us.  

Sarah Shephard

Design in Harmony 2021