One of the most interesting artists in Mt. Shasta area is Alexander “Golden Eagle”, maker of ceramic pottery prayer drums.
Alexander has been making prayer drums for over 40 years, and has made over 10,000 in his careet. The drums range in size from 1 inch wide to larger bass drums almost two feet wide.
Every one of his drums is unique and painted so that no two are the same. Usually, the drum skin is made from goat skin from Pakistan. The pottery drum body is made from a dense ceramic that holds up well to playing. The drum head is fastened to the drum body with water buffalo rawhide. A handwoven small loop handle allows the drums to be easily carried around.
Alexander learned to spin pottery in high school ceramics. A friend’s mother brought a pottery drum back from Morocco, and there was something about it that fascinated and inspired to create drums for a living.
His design is based on the doumbek design from the middle east. The signature of a doumbek design is the globlet shape of the drum. Over time, the design of the drum has grown into a unique style.
Alexander is also known as Golden Eagle. He says that he got the name when on a spiritual retreat in the deserts of New Mexico. He said that a fellow traveler told him that Golden Eagle would be a good name for him, and the name stuck.
When Alexander is not making his drums, he can usually be found camping at one of the local lakes.
Alexander can be reached at his studio at (530) 926-3229, or at his shop at (530) 926-1377. Alexander conducts classes and workshops to teach others about pottery.