Calling it in.
Drums are portals, they respond to the call and call us in. Its been so from the moment our footsteps found the earth. It's a funny business to become a drum maker and I take my midwifery of drum birthing seriously, I honour the moment by being protected, grounded and centered, I prepare by paying attention to the night skies, under which the skins soak in consecrated water and most of all I listen to the spirit of the drum, from when it is still a thought, gestating what you, the drums keeper is calling in to that special nexus when weaving it into life, stringing and stretching the drum around the frame. The best work arrives when I can hold myself in a liminal world and I cannot deny that there is power in this process and that is what I am passing onto you in the images that appear. Some clients have an idea of what they want and I will work with you from initial sketches to finished work, and some clients just want to see what comes out. The choice is yours to make.
I would love to provide you with rawhide that was taken by my own hand, with true knowledge of what is in my heart as I give death but until that day I trust and enjoy the relationship I have with Centralia Fur, an old local company that works closely with the hunters of this area as well as the local tribes. This is where I source most of my skins and frames as well as working with drums already made.
I use acrylic ink on all my leather work and I feel confident in them, mostly because if I make a mistake while painting it’s impossible to erase, meaning each time there is that feeling of apprehension that makes for a worthy experience. The inks love to hold onto the tooth of the rawhide and also there are some really good golds, coppers and silvers and shimmer inks that only shine when they catch the firelight, an effect that I love. I have run durability tests and the inks will withstand some water / weather, however as your drum beats burnish the hide, then for sure, down the road, the colours might shift, and the painting change. It is going to take a long while, and at some point, a drum gets to release itself and split and die. I do however foolishly taunt the gods by being available to my clients as long as I'm in the business, for all my leatherwork, be it re riveting belts or touching up art. These drums are made for working it.
The price of a drum varies between $300 - $600 depending on size and skin.