Silver Spear Instruments are traditional local designer-makers, headed by craftsman Jonathan Letcher, who has lived and worked for many years in the Marches of Wales. Jon trained originally as a boat builder in East Anglia, worked in a number of boatyards in the Norfolk Broads and in New Zealand, and still usually spends part of every year working on classic boat repair and restoration projects, at a boatyard in western Argyll. But his first love has always been music and traditional instruments - he made his first dulcimer (which he also plays) in his spare time at the first boatyard he worked in, at Beccles in Suffolk, over thirty years ago; and has been making harps since 1995.
He has written a number of articles about making harps and dulcimers for national magazines; and has talked on BBC Radio 4, the World Service and local TV about the various instrument-based projects, highlighting connections between different cultures, which are his special interest.
He has spent three months in Hungary, Iran and China on a Winston Churchill Fellowship, working with other makers and musicians; helped build the first authentic reproduction of the 4,500 year-old Golden Lyre from Ur, in what is now Iraq; and has worked with students and archaeologists at a university in Cairo on reproductions of ancient Egyptian instruments. He was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Craft Scholarship in 2001, to develop his instrument-making at London Guildhall University.