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Forum topic by Donna Menke posted 2421 days ago 1042 views 2 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Donna Menke

556 posts in 2769 days


2421 days ago

Hi Guys-
Here is a link to my harp making blog. I have to decide how to color this design on the soundboard- and I need help.
http://harpmaking.blogspot.com/ Go way down to the end of the blog for the soundboard work.
All opinions appreciated-
Thanks, Donna

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com


41 replies so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2663 days


#1 posted 2421 days ago

so impressive – such an undertaking.
I’m sure you will get lots of suggestions from the artists on here!

What is the mood that you want to create with the colours? Subtle? Traditional? Modern?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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Donna Menke

556 posts in 2769 days


#2 posted 2421 days ago

Hi MsDeb-
Mood??? Hmmm, never thought about that. Just aiming for as beautiful as possible. I was wondering if iridescence would look nice. Like I do my dragonfly wings. It was also recommended to fade from one color to another- so I was thinking of fading from pink through lavender, to light blue. Or- how about ranging through a rainbow of 6 colors? Or- each of the 4 strands of a different color.
Yoicks- too many possibilities.
Still looking for suggestions- until I finish the burning and have to start applying color.
Thanks, Donna

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

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MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2663 days


#3 posted 2420 days ago

the light blue / lavender / translucent /iridescence idea has a really “moody” mystical feel to it.
Mystical (as I typed that I got an idea) links (for me) with the celtic design .... kinda like a cross between “out of the mist and into the land of fairies”.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

556 posts in 2769 days


#4 posted 2420 days ago

Deb- I’ve received many suggestions to just leave it without color, (including hubby) so for now I’m going to do that. Later on I can always add color and/or carving and throw another layer of finish on it. Right now I just want to be able to try to play the harp and hear how it sounds. I’ll let the group know when the blog is finished and you can hear me strum my harp.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12516 posts in 2486 days


#5 posted 2420 days ago

Looked at your design and yellow-golden color may be nice. Not too bright, but still organic.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2663 days


#6 posted 2420 days ago

oh sure.. get me all excited and then say “going natural”... :)
Well I do hope that you will make something else and create the mystical feeling :) hahah

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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Donna Menke

556 posts in 2769 days


#7 posted 2420 days ago

Deb- you are right about the mystical feeling. One of my samples was like that and looked very subtle and nice. I also did one in blue with gold in the voids- looked great too. See, if they all look so nice how the heck could I settle on just one design.
Dan- yellow-golden was also a consideration. I recently bought an antique gold acrylic paint that looks very nice.
Natural will be it for now- but later. . .

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

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MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2663 days


#8 posted 2420 days ago

I’ll be watching!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Woodminer's profile

Woodminer

69 posts in 2440 days


#9 posted 2420 days ago

Hi Donna,

Decorations on wood is such a wild topic, and coloring them once that’s done is sure to draw an even wilder bunch of answers.

Question: is the soundboard where you’re going to put the Celtic knots? If so, what’s the wood? I read your blog and get the impression that it’s a plywood of some sort, but what is the face of it? If it’s a baltic birch type ply or a spruce faced ply, you can do lots with pyro to gain shadings. You could do a lot of masking and then do airbrushing.

One issue on most of the softer woods on the face of many musical instrument plywoods is that colors will wick very quickly. If you burn the edges of your pattern, that should essentially cauterize the ends of the cells to help prevent that wicking. If you seal the wood well before you add color, that also will help limit any wicking that wants to take place.

No matter what you choose, you’re also going to have to choose between opaque and transparents colors. I really like to see the wood so I’d choose transparent colors no matter what. And if I used pyro to do the actual shading, I’d still go with a transparent set of colors to enhance the knot. Or you could carve it and make it tactile, too. Then the end grain of the wood would be exposed and that alone would take finish differently and show up in a totally different way.

Almost anything can work. Depends a great deal on who you’re doing this for. Some folks WANT vivid, intense colorations. Kind of like bright tattoos on lily white skin. And some folks really like the decoration but want it to be subtle and not jump out. Saw an embossed ceiling texture yesterday that would be my example of that subtle idea—the light play was the only way to actually see that texture. Very subtle. Or a black outline only tattoo on black skin. A person could miss the tatt unless it was pointed out.

What do you want to accomplish with the Celtic knot anyhow? Logo? Statement?

-- Dean, Missouri

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MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2663 days


#10 posted 2417 days ago

yah… goal? mood? intention?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

556 posts in 2769 days


#11 posted 2417 days ago

Duh- I jus’ wanna make sumptin’ purdy.
Seriously, I want it to look good and make pretty sounds.
The decorations go on the soundboard, and it is 1/8” birch veneered ply, 5 ply.
Dean- I did 4 samples with transparent/translucent acrylic paints and oil pencils. They all looked good, so I decided to put off the decision on color for now and just get the harp done. I can always lightly sand the finish and add color later.
I wood burned rather firmly/dark, so it is a little tactile even without carving. I wouldn’t carve on the soundboard since it needs all the strength it can get, but later on I may carve some Celtic designs into the walnut of the frame. Again, I can just carve through the finish and then renew it with more coats of finish.
As far as the choice of Celtic designs is concerned, I have been fascinated with them for many years. I have a few designs that I carve for pendants, I teach others how to carve them and did an article for Carving Magazine on that subject- step-by-step for 5 pages. So I like the design. I’ve also designed some on my own, and enjoy the challenge of modifying Celtic knots like I did for this project. Tapering the knot along the strings and expanding it in the middle were fun to figure out.
I have been stuck fixing slight gaps in the joints at the bottom of the harp. I used my ROS instead of a belt sander- bad decision. Spent a couple of hours instead of 10 minutes. Dumb bunny.
Today I will glue in the soundboard. It is a big step- and I’m chicken, but I’ll do it anyhow.
Donna

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View Woodminer's profile

Woodminer

69 posts in 2440 days


#12 posted 2417 days ago

Purdy is fine. 8^)

Celtic knots are indeed cool. Much can be read into them, so that’s why I asked. Nothing more. 8^)

I was also wondering based on the rest of the instrument. If you’ve got all woodtones and suddenly have a bright burst of color it might be obtrusive. Or it might be cool like seeing a bluebird or cardinal in the midst of a snowy black & white scene.

-- Dean, Missouri

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Donna Menke

556 posts in 2769 days


#13 posted 2417 days ago

Lordy- I hope the latter- because I just finished slathering on every color in the rainbow- and it is bright.
I ran rainbows up every strand- at different points, so that it is just a mash of color. I used oil pencils since I have a lot of control with them.
I decided that the plain burn was just too dull- and it needed a little brightening up. It is bright now- my ‘Rainbow Harp’. I’ll take some photos tomorrow after I finish the corner knots and before I glue it into the soundbox. I still need to sand more on the walnut to eliminate irritating sharp corners. I like rounded more than sharp in any case. There are still some things I’d like to make better, but time is running out, so I need to keep moving forward.
Besides, I’m sick to death of sanding on the harp and grinding on Emily- I want to start finishing.
Impatience never led to a better job though- I know that for sure.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2663 days


#14 posted 2417 days ago

so you want bright, uplifting… rainbow sounds exciting!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

556 posts in 2769 days


#15 posted 2417 days ago

It looks good- very different from other harps I’ve seen. As soon as I finish the coloring I’ll post a photo and let you know.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

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