Crafting Keys for Altered States

Painting the Skeleton Key bodhran

Amidst the happy chaos that is my life, I found time to work on a new project painting goatskin bodhrans (Irish frame drums) with deliciously witchy and magical designs (as if they weren’t witchy enough being goatskin to start!). I hadn’t painted with acrylics in a long time so I had a lot of fun playing with layering, colour, and negative space.

The first drum I painted is the twelve-inch Hekate’s Oak with an oak tree sprouting from an owl skull with leaves and acorns in sets of three to honour the Lady of the Crossroads for which I carved an oak wood beater. The second drum I completed is the ten-inch Blackthorn & Hawthorn with thorned branches wreathing the edge which, appropriately, comes with a blackthorn wood beater. The last drum is possibly the witchiest – The Skeleton Key with its skull, serpents, black moths, and blackthorn beater.

Bodhrans handpainted by Sarah Lawless

Goatskin Bodhrans - stacked

And now for more crafting – my whole apartment is filled with ritually harvested woods and I have plans for simple wands, rattles, and feather smudge fan handles… Time to get crafting on things to sell at the BC Shamanic Conference and the Gathering Festival coming up soon in May!

The Skeleton Key drum - painted by Sarah Anne Lawless

Blackthorn & Hawthorn Drum

Hekate's Oak Drum


5 Responses to “Crafting Keys for Altered States”

  1. Carla Ayers says:

    Both of your works are gorgeous! Is it possible to buy a plain drum that I can paint on myself?

  2. No problem, I recommend deer or elk for painting.

  3. dreema says:

    A brilliant effort by all here, though, I need to take my drum down and make it sing.

  4. Oooo I would love to purchase one of your drums! They are very beautiful, Sarah. There is a class here that makes them, but I think it is finished for the semester. I’ll have to jump on the bandwagon next time it comes up! Your artwork is inspiring :)