Ordering a Drum
All my drums are made to the highest standards with materials sourced in an ethical and sustainable way. The hides are from Deer who live here in Devon. I have organically farmed Red Deer or wild Fallow Deer hides. The Fallow are much smaller and thinner hides than the Red and so I can only make 14" or smaller drums from these. If you're looking for a deep sound then you want a Red Deer hide. Making a drum from these hides is an exquisite way to respectfully use parts of the animal which would otherwise be wasted, and to continue in an ancient relationship between human, deer and the spirit of the drum.
The iron ring which I usually use within the lacing at the back (It makes the drum more stable to hold) is forged by our local blacksmith Greg Abel in Moretonhampstead. The exquisitely made and finished circular wooden hoops are made of Willow from sustainable plantations in Pakistan. The leather used to bind the hand hold at the back of the drum and to cover the head and handle of the drum-stick is usually recycled - but I also have oak bark tanned wild fallow hide leather (for which I charge a little extra as it was incredibly expensive, but it is incredibly beautiful), and the wool inside the head of the beater is either recycled or hand spun by me. The stick itself is usually Ash or Hazel and is gathered in a respectful way which does not harm the continued good health of the remaining tree. I can easily find other woods for drum beaters too.
Painted or not?
There are essentially two ways to go about deciding on how your drum should be: The first is that you can decide everything. You chose the size of your drum, the colour of the material that binds the hoop, the colour of the leather used to make the handle and stick. You choose whether there is art work and exactly what that art work looks like. You can send us an exact design or simply say I want this but I'd like it in the style of that with these colours.
The second way is that you simply ask me to make 'your' drum. I journey on what it needs to be and The Spirits make all the choices listed above. There are of course many middle grounds between these two ways. It's up to you.
The art on the drums I make are all originals hand painted by my very talented husband Fergus. He uses paint and his extraordinary intuition to convert my ramblings and stick drawings into the beauty you see here. No two drums are the same. To view pictures of some of the drums already painted please look on the Pictures of Drums page.
Prices vary according to the size of the drum and the amount of art work. Prices are by individual arrangement and are clearly set out before the work begins.
As a guideline:
A plain (unpainted) 16" drum - £260.
16" (diameter) drum with small and simple art work on the face - £310
a very complicated design might be up to £410. An average price is £360. The majority of the designs which you can see on the drum page would now cost £360.
I don't charge for packaging (I use recycled cardboard boxes and bubble wrap) and postage is charged at the Royal Mail guaranteed next day delivery which means it is insured, tracked and signed for. This is usually £11.50 within the UK, £25.00+ for most of the rest of Europe and approximately £45 for The United States.
I usually wrap the back of the drum in recycled suede and match the suede of the beater to this.
In the centre of the handle I usually put a four sided wrap called a 'god's eye'. This makes the drum more comfortable to hold.
They can be one colour or many. I usually have a good selection of different colours.
The unwrapped back has it's own raw beauty. I'm happy to leave it unwrapped if you would prefer that.