WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - A man with an amazing talent lives in the country next to his workshop, off a dirt road in Worth County.
Michael Outlaw reclaims centuries-old wood that he can transform into cabinets or furniture... But a lot of people can do that. What makes this artisan unique is his ability to find the rhythm in the wood.
As cars rush rhythmically by most of the drivers probably don't even notice the overgrown old house next to the road.
But Michael Outlaw not only sees it He hears it. "I see a beauty. This house is solid wood. I can just hear the sound of what it would make."
Michael rides the back roads of south Georgia looking for places that could use some salvation. "These old houses are hard to find. That piece of wood is probably 400 years old."
He reclaims centuries-old heart pine wood takes it back to his workshop and gives it new life. "My heart is definitely in making these things. I love it."
Michael planes that ancient lumber Wiping away generations of weather and wear. To reveal the heart and soul of the wood, he cuts it into staves, with just the right shapes and angles.
He put the clamps on it, and glues them together to create a perfect circle. Then comes sanding, filing, drilling, buffing and sanding. "It's very important around this edge right here to be just right."
All this Leads to several sounds of work in rhythm. "It definitely has a unique sound, too." Michael's handcrafted drums not only have a distinct sound "Let's face it. How are you gonna get a finish like that out of a plywood shell?"
Each one also has a unique look. And each has an interesting story. "This one right here come out of a tobacco barn."
Then there's the one that started in a hog pen and one from the bleachers of an old gym. Michael preserves the quirks and scars of the wood. "We'll find a nail that's cut a certain way and try to incorporate that into the drum."
While few folks in Michael's own backyard know about his talent. "We sell them all over the world."
He's gaining a worldwide reputation in the music industry. "This drum right here is Eddie Fisher's drum from One Republic."
He and all Michael's other customers get certificates of authenticity that tell them how their drums began. "I'm a born again Christian, and so that whole bringing something dead back to life kinda really means a lot to me."
Meaningful work transforming the forgotten into the memorable by finding the rhythm in the wood.
On Instagram, search: outlawdrum .