Our good friend KM is a drum maker, but not just any sort of drum. He makes works of art, serious artisan drums made with local and exotic hard woods. He also makes flutes and diggeridoos, and his work is amazing. Really beautiful pieces. He was in the process of making these special drums called frame drums that are these large and round disc shape pieces that require some special processing. He asked if we were interested in watching him make them, and of course we jumped at the opportunity.
We drove out to his studio in Bridgewater, White Raven Drums, which is a really cool place to visit in and of itself. For the record, he built the place with his own two hands, which is amazing when you see the place. The studio upstairs is a real man in trainings dream, filled with countless pieces of these beautiful hardwoods and more power tools than you can even imagine. KM is definitely a fine craftsman, unlike myself, who leans more towards rough details. Like my Mentor once said, there are cabinet makers, and there are framers. I definitely fall into the latter category.
He had these long maple boards that were ready to be shaped, and they needed be planed. He used both an electric planer and several hand planers before he set the boards in the steamer to soften. After about 20 minutes, he bent the softened wood into the rounds that will eventually be covered with the hydes to form the drum head. It was pretty cool to watch.
In between the shaping, we hung out with his boys and ate kettle corn and cranberry cake, and checked out some games they had on the PC. The kids have a lot of fun, KM’s boys are super nice kids, and A&N really enjoy hanging out with them. KM and myself also really jive. He’s one of those typical Vermont guys who can do almost everything construction wise, and is basically building an addtion to his house with his own hands, yet is well-read and informed about the world’s events.
After the demonstration, we had to run because we had rehearsal, not to mention story hours. Since we were out past Woodstock, I had planned on stopping by Cloudland Farms to get some beef. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I’m going to brine a brisket for the meal. Plus, we’re out of ground beef, and we are in need of a taco night.
We had a typically busy but fun and fruitful day. I didn’t manage to get to the dump, but sometimes you just can’t do it all.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Niels Timmer for the pic.