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AFRICAN DRUM MAKING

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Click here for more images!

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Harald arranged an African drum making workshop on the Greek island Corfu in April 2002. The making of African drums might be interesting for you, so we present the production line up here.


First Steps

At first, coats of goats have to be soaked in for two days.

The coats must be cleaned afterwards. Grease and tissue
have been removed from coat’s bottom...

... with an iron scraper which can be seen here.
Processing time between 4-5 hours.

The coats are shaved in size of drum diameter.
(Total time: 5 to 6 hours)

The coat texture appears. It looks great, doesn’t it?


Shaping

Twenty-four wooden bars are needed for each drum shell.
Bars for the workshop had to be sawn by a carpenter in advance.
The used lumber is cherry wood and more than twenty years old.

The conical cross-section of a bar’s top side.

Scotch tape is helping for easier assembling.

Assembling the wooden components...

...needs a lot of glue.

This drum shell is being pressed for 24 hours.

The surface was roughly shaped with a plane ...

... therefore edges must be smoothed away with a file.

After the bodies’ surfaces were ground with sandpaper...

... they get brushed and waxed.

Six bodies finished.


Skinning - Part I

Three metal rings of 8 mm strong brass ...

... are being forged ...

... as well as soldered ...

... and finally polished.


Skinning - Part II

Nylon with a thickness of 4 mm is wrapped round two rings.

This nylon wreath is later needed to hold the cords aside the drum.

The third nylon-less ring was laid
on the coat and then roughly stiched in.

The seam will be removed again later .

The inner ring cannot slip away for the present, because of the seam.

Cords with a length between 30 and 40 meters must be drawn,

... to connect the upper and lower metal rings.

At last, horizontal cords are woven round the drum,
to tighten the skins for sound defining.

Finished!


From Workshop in 1998

Those drums were made on Korfu Island in 1998:

Clay drum # 1

Clay drum # 2


Korfu Impressions

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Please click on the pics to enlarge!


Interested?

Contact:
www.ilios-living-art.com