Ross Flowers is a drum-maker from Hopedale, Nunatsiavut. As a teenager, he was inspired by a visiting drum dancer from Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland), whose qilaut (drums) were made in Nunavut. After this first encounter with drum dancing, Flowers began teaching himself to make drums, and has been making them ever since.
Flowers collaborates closely with his wife, Lise Flowers, who helps him stretch the fabric, which needs to be pulled tautly over the wooden frame to ensure the proper vibration. Flowers crafts his drums from wood local near Hopedale, mostly birch and juniper, which he sources himself, and he imports the cloth from Happy Valley - Goose Bay, Nunatsiavut, NL. When available, he will decorate the drum handles with caribou antler.
He enjoys making drums of different sizes, which range from 15 to 24 inches in diameter, to suit performers of all ages. Many of his drums are made for children learning to play. He also delicately crafts custom carrying cases for performers who travel. His drums have also found homes mounted on the walls of private residences as decorative wall hangings.
The majority of Flowers’s clients are from his local community, but he regularly sells his drums to galleries, including Feheley Fine Arts in Toronto, ON, where he has a drum on permanent display. His drums have been distributed in communities as diverse as Montreal, QC, Kuujjuaq, Nunavik and Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven), NU.