Ordering a Drum
All my drums are made to the highest standards with materials sourced in an ethical and sustainable way. The skins are from Deer who live on either Dartmoor or Exmoor, some are farmed (for certified organic meat), some wild. They are all prepared for drum-making by me and by Jessie Watson Brown - who is one of the UK's few Natural Hide Tanners. Making a drum from these skins is an exquisite way to respectfully use parts of the animal which would otherwise be wasted.
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 and the hoops are made from timber from sustainably managed woodland. 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 recycled, and the wool inside the head of the beater is either recycled or hand spun by me. The stick itself is usually Holly, 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 Crockford. 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 within this site or go to the 'Painted Drums' page on my blog.
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 - £220.
16" (diameter) drum with small and simple art work on the face - £250
a very complicated design might be up to £340. An average price is £290. The majority of the designs which you can see on the drum page of my blog cost £290.
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 £11.00 within the UK, £18.00+ 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.