The Hands on Harps Team
Creag and Morwenna met while travelling in Australia and share a passion for travel and music. This has lead them, including other places, up Mt Kilimanjaro, all around Europe in a van for 2 years, busking, along the Camino de Santiago with their instruments, volunteering in Kenya, India and the Philippines and now to Nailsworth, a town in South Gloucestershire where they have settled down and now have 2 young boys.
Creag grew up in a business environment-his parents ran Swallow Systems, a company that made educational robots for schools. With his dad and best mate Steve he made racing robots to compete in Mircromouse, which gave him an appearance on Blue Peter at the age of 12.
He started playing the guitar aged 18 while at university in Nottingham. He has never had a face to face lesson, learning all of his songs and techniques from videos online-this is part of the inspiration for this course. He first made a harp in 2012 for Morwenna’s Christmas present, and is passionate about working with wood to make beautiful things-he has also made a bed, various signs, a model of his Dad’s workshop, wine racks.
Matt came to luthiery after completing a guitar building course in Totnes. He brings with him a wealth of woodworking and musical knowledge. Matt is a graduate of the University of Wales College of Medicine where he studied Radiography and Diagnostic Imaging. Once qualified, Matt went into pub management and ran several pubs before ending up in Monmouth for 5 years. Whilst at Monmouth he ran a successful music venue that was frequented by amongst others the Pixies, Kasabian and Robert Plant.
He now lives in Dursley with his fiancée Madeleine and his dog Lupa.
Ellie joined Hands on Harps after just finishing her Foundation Degree in Art and Design. Ellie has been creating sculptures all her life and is excited to be moving her practice onto functional designs in wood rather than artistic pieces in clay and plaster. Gael Music (now operating in Glasgow) approached Ellie’s school when she was 13 and found her to be a natural harpist. Ellie has carried on the Gael Music ethos teaching folk music to young people at festivals with Shooting Roots and is now studying for her grade 8 in Irish Folk music on the harp.
She now teaches harp alongside studying a degree in music at open music. Check out her teaching website here.
Sar came to Hands on Harps with limited experience of music or woodwork, but plenty of enthusiasm to learn. She is a full-time single mother to 2 children and has her hands full with a feisty, but comical, cat Purdy and 2 rabbits. She trained in animal care at Hartpury College and has worked in hairdressing, retail, admin and hospitality. Alongside working for Hands on Harps, she also works as a dog boarder and walker and runs a website, Luna & Sol, selling handmade crafts and candles.
Growing up, Sar played the flute briefly when she was 12, but struggled to learn music. She has now caught the bug and is learning to play the harp! She has always loved different styles of music and is enjoying finding a new way to enjoy it.