Bone Harp


Another one from my ballads project. This one is from a song called "Cruel Sister", also known as "Minnorie" or "Binnorie", "The Twa Sisters", "The Wind and Rain", "Dreadful Wind and Rain", "Two Sisters", and the "Bonnie Bows of London". It dates back to at least to 1656, and is about a pair of sisters who are courted by the same man.

One drowns the other to free up the man's affections, and the drowned sister's body is found by three minstrels. The minstrels make a harp out of her breastbone and string it with her hair. When the minstrels bring the harp into the hall of the dead girl's family, the harp plays on its own and informs the spectators of how the girl was murdered.

Welded steel armature, self-hardening clay, plastic, human hair, matte medium.

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I'm not gonna pretend to be a sculpter or anything....but even so...this is so freaking creepy and amazing!

amazing :D

now you need is death playing it 8D awesome 3-D sculpture dude im an artist who's into clay and other sculptures but this is amazing bone harp i have ever seen a clever idea indeed im just wondering who's human hair did u got

5/5 10/10 good job sir

radiodark responds:

Thanks. I used my own hair- I've got plenty of it. I washed it, sterilized/bleached it with hydrogen peroxide, and spun it into yarn.

Oh lovely.

Human hair.


Reminds me of the BrosGrim tale "the singing bone" where its two princes, killing a boar, one kills other for the fame, and a self-singing horn is made by a shepherd.


I used to make little villages out of clay in high school. I would have never dreamed this up. I can tell that this took a lot of forethought and hard work. Tom Waits does a variant of this as well on his Orphans CD.

Nothing else that I can say conveys how impressed I am with this. Well Done!

PS. What did you do for the texture of the bone?

radiodark responds:

Thanks! Especially for telling me Tom Waits did a version- I collect ballad recordings and had no idea his existed. The bone's texture stems from the self hardening clay I used and the hand-forming- I did nothing special.

Credits & Info

3.40 / 5.00

Aug 25, 2011
3:14 PM EDT
Fine Art
File Info
2016 x 1676 px
3.9 MB

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