Handmade Deerskin Drums and Rattles Shamanic tools and services.
How do we make my Drums we've been asked . So I thought I would put little of the process on here.
To make a good quality drum takes time , If you were to come and make one with us then you'd be here all day. But we want you to leave with something you cherish , Something that has element in that are important to you . Your Drum is going to be your companion , your teacher .It's going to help you in your shamanic work so you need to get it right for you.
All Drums are Handmade . But we don't make all the components . for these we use reliable sustainable resources . We buy in the hide , Frames and the metal rings .
Deer-hide comes from a reliable source . We ensure the hides are from well kept herds , The frames from sustainable woodlands and our metal hoops come from a local blacksmith.
Hide tanning takes a while to do . We don't tan my own hides , theres don't have the space here . Although we have worked with tanners in producing rawhide it a backbreaking process that take hours of cleaning the hide and ensuring it is preserved to it optimum best .
Neither do we make the frames . We don't have the equipment to bend wood . so they are made for me by another Drum maker . And again from Sustainable woodlands
Once you have all your components together you can begin your task of making your drum .
As each drum is possibly made for its owner to use for shamanic purposes. We will create it within sacred space . this involves preparing the area we gong to work in . Smudging all components particular to honour that deers life and expressing gratitude for allowing me to use its hide .
We start usually with the frame.
They are high quality so you don't have to do much with them . you can leave them as they are or you can change the colour on the inside using wood stain , we even had someone use plant based material to enhance the colour of the wood using Elfwort leave to give the inside of their drum a nice greenish colour . In this case we wonder how it has aged and if the colour has change.
Because most people make their drum for a specific purpose we allow time for them to customise it . There is time to paint inside the drum anything you want . so always best to have an idea before you arrive . It's best to be simple something that represents what you intend to use the drum for . Wether it Reiki symbols , Runes ,.Representation of Sami symbols and rock art , something that represents you . we even had a Dr Who Tardis .
But when I make a drum I tend to Paint on the inside what the drums call us to do
We make most of our drums using a metal hoop to lace up the drum .In my opinion this add to stability and reduced the chances of the drum loosening in inclement weather . All Hide is subject to posture and will absorb moisture which makes the skin a little loose .But you can soon tighten it up again . the beat way is to use a hairdryer and gently warm the inside . traditions you might want to warm it by a fire . but be careful not to leave it to close . and of course never leave your drum to close to a heat source unattended .
These metal frames can be decorated and covered in ribbons , or material of your choice to suit you .
Of course you'll need a beater . So that's usually the next process in a drum making day. Again wood for the handle is either from pruning our tress or collected from local woodland .
we cut leather to shape sow up the beater , stuff with Sheep's wool ( again from local sources and people I know who are happy to sell me a fleece rather than it going to land fill).
So the next bit is attaching the Drum head .and cutting it out . along with a rawhide strip to string up the drum . we get the metal hoop in place temporary held with stain , The n lace up the drum . You need to ensure that the edges are level the metal ring stays in place . once laced into position the job of tightening the drum begins but going round and round time after time pulling the lacing tight and the drum head tight as well . It's a tricky job because you might snap your lacing or there is a chancier you pull too hard the eyelets you have made might tear .
The sound that the drum will have will be raised on the amount of tension you put in it , the thickness of the skin and the size of the drum frame .
Once satisfied with he tension on the drum . You then need to create something to hold it with . so again we male a handle from the hide .
It takes around a 2 to 4 days for all this to dry out Sometimes a bit longer . You need to ensure the drum is in an airy place not to near a source of heat .
Once dry you can add thing to your drum . anything you might like to hang off it such as Feathers . ribbons thing like that . can be attached to the drum . If you want to paint it you can usually using acrylic pain or inks . I believe oil pain can be used but you would need add an agent too it to dry quicker I believe . However painting the skin can sometimes change the tone of it . But before you do this we would recommend you sit with your drum , you get to know it , you wake the spirit of your drum . which is a Mongolian ceremony to help you connect with and to work with your drum and I believe you can find an outline of that on my page Dunnwooddrums .
Thanks Glenn for asking how I make my Drums. It's given me to opportunity to say how theses drums are and allows people to see these drums are not mass made . that we honour and respect all our components and their sources. We make them with and intended purpose in mind. And can make them hopefully to suit individual requirements .
To find out more there's lots of stuff online , Lots of books on Drum making , Shamanic Drumming and Creating your one drumming circle .
It's included in the book list here.