Choosing Your Drum

These pages offer you the opportunity to have 'your' drum made for you.   There are pictures on the drum gallery of some of the drums that we have made previously and you can certainly ask for one of these.  Or - you can have an entirely different drum; a drum that has never been made before, a drum that is wholly original.

This is the beginning - a plain drum;  hand crafted from beautiful deerskin and Ash wood, already utterly unique in it's markings, texture and tone.

All my drums are made to the highest standards using ethically and sustainably sourced materials.  The skins are from deer who have lived on either Dartmoor or Exmoor, most are farmed, some are wild.  Making a drum from these skins is an exquisite way to respectfully use parts of the animal that would otherwise be wasted. The skins are mostly prepared by me and by my assistant Jessie Watson Brown (in the picture below ) using the very ancient technique of soaking them in lye (wood ash) or lime and then scraping the hair from them.

The iron ring which I usually use within the lacing at the back (it makes the drum very stable to hold) is made by our local Blacksmith Greg Abel at Moretonhampstead Forge and the  hoops are made in the UK from sustainably managed woodland.  The suede used to bind the handle on the back of the drum and for the handle and head of the drum beater comes from recycled jackets and coats that I find in local flea markets. The wool inside the head of the drum stick is either organic wool from my own sheep hand spun by me or recycled wool from old clothing or unused balls found in our local recycling centre.

The sticks for the drum beaters are harvested from the hedgerows hereabouts - often after the hedge cutters have been round in early spring, they leave me a very handy trail of pre-cut drum sticks!  If a particular wood is required that I don't already have then I make sure I harvest the smallest amount possible in the most gentle, clean cut and respectful way, ensuring the continuing good health of the remaining tree.  I usually have stocks of Hazel, Holly and Ash, but have access to many other woods, so you can be quite specific in your requirements.

 The first step in the creation of your drum is choosing which size you would like.  At the moment I have 16 and 18 inch hoops available.  The smaller ones are Ash, the 18" are Beech.

Once you have decided what size drum you would like the next question is what colour would you like the metal hoop at the back to be?  This hoop could be considered to be the heart of the drum, wrapping it in cloth is the first step in actually assembling the drum and it can be almost any colour you can think of.  The iron ring is wrapped so that it doesn't rust through the lacing of the drum.

What colour would you like the suede to be?  This goes on the  handle of the drum at the back and the handle and head of the beater?

Or perhaps you don't want the metal ring... you would like the drum back constructed in a different way.

Perhaps you would like the inside of the hoop decorated as in the picture above, or the outside of the back decorated. (The hand hold on this hasn't been finished yet - but you get the idea.)

Or a different kind of handle?

And lastly - would you like a picture painted on your drum?  You can look at the Painted Drums page for inspiration or to choose a design or you can e-mail us your own design or ideas. Alternatively you can ask me to journey for you on what your drum looks like.

I hope you find your way to a beautiful, powerful and fulfilling relationship with the Spirit of The Drum.

1 comment:

  1. Heya Suzi :) i love your shamanic drums and i was wondering how much they were? I love the blue dragon one. i need to buy a shamanic drum as i'm a shamanic practitioner at the moment. the drum is part of my kit that i require. Hope to hear back from you. Best contact is