About Us

About us

Harps Australia  has been handcrafting and developing Celtic Harps since 1994, using non-endangered woods -primarily our unique and beautiful Australian timbers.

And, yes, this picture was from 20 years ago!

Although our main office is now based 40 minutes outside of Melbourne  in the Dandenong Ranges, Harps Australia continues  development, research and sales in the US, and maintains a rental office south of Sydney for NSW customers.

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How did Jacquie get involved with the harp?

Jacquie, a native of the Pacific Northwest resident in Australia for 35 years; became fascinated by the Celtic harp when first loaned an instrument by a colleague in the Melbourne Symphony in the late 1980s. The next step was to own one, but there was little choice of instruments in Australia in those days. She built an imported kit from the US.

Gradually the harp became an obsession; the French horn (her first career) was phased out. In 1994 she embarked on a study tour of harp building on the USA West Coast, meeting with many craftsman.  She also studied several large scale harp building factories both the Triplett Harps in California and Dusty Strings in Seattle, with research/resourcing  trips to Robinson’s Harp Shop outside of San Diego.

On her return, she and husband Warwick worked as a team to produce the 30 string Waratah model harp featured in the nationally run workshops Pull Your Own Harpstrings. Following years of development, Harps Australia released a unique re-design of the 30 string new Waratah in 2001, the 34/36 string Lyrebird Harps and the 23 string Rosella now available for workshops.

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Warwick Tout-Smith

Warwick has been building harps at Harps Australia since 1994. Not a grey hair to be seen.

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Warwick ‘s eclectic past includes 10 years at the ABC in Sydney as a sound engineer/editor, while operating several recording studios on the side. Then he “retired” and built/renovated houses for 20 years in Melbourne.

His knowledge of acoustics, building, recording and electronics have all come together building harps at Harps Australia and co-producing the CD of Seasons Within with Lyrebird Productions.

Harps Australia’s new home

In September 2007, Jacquie and Warwick returned to live primarily in Australia, with twice-yearly sojourns to the Pacific Northwest and our developmental workshop, and for Jacquie’s therapeutic music work.

Harps Australia’s new finishing and developmental workshop in the Dandenong Ranges is named after the 12th century mystic and musician Hildegard von Bingen’s Veriditas (the verdant freen energy of Creation), and overlooks a miniature Ferntree fully and stream. Curious marsupials oversee our work and Kookaburras chortling accompany sounds of sanding, tapping, and tuning. And the occasional sound of a French horn bemuses the Brushtail possums in the workshop roof.

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Kookaburra deliveries

Harps Australia Office Management 

 

 

Quality Control Inspector “The Boss”
Micro the Workshop Cat

Inside Inspection by The Boss

“All in order” says The Boss

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