Both drums and rattles are ceremonial pieces. They are meant to be played, not hung on a wall for decoration as they are alive with their own songs. I am so honored that some of the pieces creator has helped me bring to life travel the world. Special paintings or designs may be requested for your Drum. I usually work with Elk hide and sometimes deer or buffalo. The hide and lacings are hand cut by myself then stretched and mounted. I cold cure the finished drum. I mostly make frame drums and on special request can make double sided lodge drums. The frames are usually maple. You will receive a drum stick and my “Care of Your Drum” information sheet with your purchase.
These rattles are made of deer or elk hide, shaped from a pattern of my own design from a plain piece of rawhide, then cut, stretched and stitched by hand, as they start their journey to become a complete rattle. Some of the rattles are made from small gourds. When I paint the Turtle design I use a real turtle shell as my “model”. Did you know there are “13 moons” on turtle’s back? The stems are natural wood. Each rattle contains either seeds, small pebbles or glass beads. Some may be painted or plain if you prefer.
Most gourds are grown right on my own property, and a few are purchased. Gourds grown here are a process of many prayers. Planting the seeds, tending them during growth and hoping the crop will yield. Then dried for a about one year with prayers they will dry well and solid. The final stage is cleaning them out, washing, scrubbing, and sanding before decoration begins. They are all hand painted by myself. Some of the designs I use come from native patterns, or whatever flows from my mind. They will hold liquid but not for an extended time. They must be hand washed, gently, using only mild soap. They are mainly for decorative use. A container to hold your wishes, hopes and dreams.
Shield painting are a special request item as the birth totem or animal guide is individual to each person. A painting consist of thousands of strokes from a pen or brush, a painting is usually done on leather before being mounted on a hoop.
Dream Catchers & Medicine Wheels
Dream catchers have become popular, but I will not mass produce them. Many regard them as a ceremonial gift. I also create medicine wheels that can go anywhere with you as a symbol of the circle of life and unity of all people. They range in size from 1″ to 12″. I use artificial sinew for weaving the web and do not place any items in the web itself, so as not to obstruct the flow. They will always have a feather on them and some beads or stones.
Bead Work and Jewelry
Now bead work. That just takes time! As each bead is individually selected and sewn by hand. It is an every changing process of what I may come up with next. I am a stickler for quality. If I wouldn’t wear it I wouldn’t sell it. Some of the bead work requires having a persons measurements, especially the belts and bracelets though they can stretch as they are usually mounted on elastic bands. So a 30″ belt could easily stretch 6 inches or more. The barrettes are various sizes, from small to large. The patterns I choose tend to be of of ancient native designs. Sometimes I just feel a pattern of my own coming out. Belts are 1.5″, 1″ and 2″ in width. The beads for belts are mounted on either white, black or brown elastic with a snap or hook closure.
As for jewelry, you have to see my selection to get a true idea about my style. Earrings, necklaces and other pieces simply come to mind as I’m inspired to create them, and you never know what I might come up with. Some contain true gemstones, but most are glass beads and silver-plated findings.