Across all time and in every culture, persons of power have traveled to alternate realities on the vibrations of a journey drum.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Using sailor's ropework to decorate a drumstick

This post continues my story of how I felt, wrap and finish a drumstick for my shamanic frame drums.  After the wool felt sleeve is dry I secure it with a band of plant-based glue  in preparation for the next step, which involves a circle of smoke-tanned leather and a pair of very sharp scissors.

The leather needs to be cleaned and well finished on both sides.  Any fiber or irregularities left on the skin will cause the thong to have weak sections, and I will need a length of leather that is thin yet even in thickness and sturdiness.

I cut 10 feet of  thong to cover 5 inches of drumstick.  I learned these calculations from my favorite book of ropework projects:  Des Pawson's Knot Craft.  I am going to use St. Mary's hitching to cover the center section of this drumstick, so I also cut a second thong of 5 feet. 

I begin with a constrictor knot in the middle of the long piece of thong that will also hold the end of the shorter piece of thong in place. 

There are now three lengths of thong on the right side of the stick.  St. Mary's hitching is made by always making the hitch from the top strand, with all hitches going in the same direction.  As I wrap I keep the hitches tight and each strand of leather snug against the previous ones so the resulting pattern is without loose places or gaps. 

I think St. Mary's hitching is the more unusual looking of the two patterns I use: hard to figure out how its done and yet easy to create.  I like that combination.

Moku hitching is made by dividing one thong into two equal lengths, beginning with a constrictor knot, and then hitching alternate strands in opposite directions. 

I'll conclude this photo album another time with a description of how I finish the handle of the drumstick.  You can see these and other drumstick styles by going to the Journey Oracle website or my webstore on Etsy.