Making an udu drum (narrow-necked, vaselike clay instruments – see image below) involves coil-building and hump-mold techniques and, as you can imagine, the forms need to be strong since they, literally, must be able to take a beating. Frank Giorgini first learned to make udu drums  in 1974 at a workshop taught by Nigerian udu drum maker Abbas M. Ahuwan and he has been perfecting his technique ever since. Recently, Frank decided to put his methods on a DVD, The Art of the Udu Drum. The DVD covers the process from the initial lump of clay to the final smoke firing.


Obviously, I can’t show the entire process here, but today I decided to excerpt a couple of Frank’s techniques because they are applicable to any kind of coil-built form. Whether you plan to make a drum or not, these tips will help you make forms that are both beautiful and structurally sound.  – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


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This clip was excerpted from The Art of the Udu Drum, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore. Learn the art of Udu drum making from the initial lump of clay to the final smoke firing!


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