Before launching Artisan Drumworks, Curt Sines spent many years playing professionally, including two decades as a career drummer in the Navy. In 1998, while stationed at Pearl Harbor, he purchased a supply of indigenous koa wood and built his first snare drum. There was no looking back.
Artisan Drumworks’ inception came in 2004 after Sines’ extensive research on the various techniques of drum building. He built ply-shell, solid-shell, and stave-shell drums, concluding that the stave design was superior for producing drums with the greatest richness and sensitivity.
“Stave design is the closest thing you can get to a hollowed out tree trunk,” says Sines. The process involves shells made of solid hardwood pieces that are edge-glued, minimizing the amount of glue used and bringing out the distinct tonal qualities of the wood used. “If my drum is 95 percent wood and 5 percent glue, a ply drum is more like 70 percent wood and 30 percent glue.”
Today, Artisan drums are finding a growing audience with pros, audio engineers, and drummers who can afford high-end snares. Sines offers a range of custom drum kits and snare drums in various unique woods that include Koa, Cocoblo, Wenge, Honduran Rosewood and African Bubinga, in finishes including hand rubbed oil/wax, natural satin, and high-gloss lacquers.
Artisan snares cost about $750. Custom 5-piece drum kits start at around $3,000.