- Handmade frames of Alaskan Yellow Cedar.
- Elk or Buffalo rawhide (processed by artist).
- Custom sizes available.
- Shipped UPS, USPS, or FedEx, unless otherwise stated by you.
- Drumsticks available for sale (see below).
I make my drums in a traditional manner. I use Alaskan Yellow Cedar and sometimes Port Orford Cedar for the frames. The wood pieces are hand-cut and glued together. There are no metal fasteners used. The glue is a high-quality waterproof glue. The frames are then sanded smooth. The drum heads are either buffalo or elk rawhide. Each fall, I collect fresh raw hides from hunters and ranchers (in the case of some buffalo), and then I process the hides using cold water and sometimes wood ash from the wood stove. When the hair slips, I scrape off the hair and flesh to make rawhide. I then lace the hide to a frame to dry.
Making the drums
Four directions pattern
I first select a piece of rawhide suitable for a drum, with no holes or thin spots. I cut the pattern for the drum from the hide. I then soak the hide for at least 24 hours. I also cut and trim the lacing. I lace up the head using a "four directions" pattern (see photo). After lacing, I let the drum dry for another 24 hours.
Here are some examples of custom sizes, styles, and artwork for past customers
- Custom designs are available and require a 25% non-refundable deposit.
- Each design is drawn by hand, directly on the drum, making each piece unique.
- The original designs are drawn in permanent light-fast acrylic-based inks.
- Buffalo rawhide tends to be darker and thicker than elk; elk is the recommended choice for painted drums.
- Only the best pieces of rawhide are chosen to bring out the qualities of the design.
- Allow 3 weeks for delivery.