With a body made of Hemp

Hempstone is an organic material that forms a solid body by only using hemp fibers and water. It was developed and patented in the 90’s.

It was used and perfected by Norbert Schmid from Austria, who makes mainly Didgeridoos and Djembe out of Hempstone.

He has worked with the material for over 13 years and he is very interested in working with designers, artists and instrument makers.

You can learn more about him and his work on his website: Drumparam.at

The remarkable aspect of Hempstone is not only the strength and hardness, that compares to woods like hard maple and ebony, but also the absence of any artificial binders.

It consists purely of ground hemp fibres and water. There is no artificial binder needed.

Mineral pigments can be added to achieve the desired colour.

The secret that turns hemp fibres into this solid material lies in the way it is processed.

By grinding and splitting up the fibres to a very high extent, the surface is enlarged exponentially.

“When water is added intermolecular hydrogen bonds are formed between the fibres.” (Norbert Schmid).

It is the same effect that makes paper fibers stick together, even though to a much stronger extent.

The molds have to be shaped round. Any sharp edge or irregularity in the material can create tears in the material.

Additional pulp is sprayed to the bottom of the mold to compensate for the pulling forces created by the immense shrinkage of up to 90%.

After drying several days the bodies are ready to be separated from the molds for further preparation.

When dried, the Hempstone is quite rough.

Because of the shrinkage and application process craters are formed.

Through further preparation, these craters are smoothed creating the typical hempstone surface.

If desired, the body can be sanded to create a smooth surface.

The Hempstone is so hard that an angle grider can be used to sand it.

The material is very versatile and can have many very different surfaces.

After some steps to further enhance the colour with oil paint the bodys are finished using some shellac.

The finished bodies consist of hemp fibres, water, pigments, oil and shellac. Because of the application process the colour has a lot of depth and complexity.

The textured bodies aso are very resistant against any kind of scratches or impacts.

hempfiber pulp after grinding process

Hempstone sprayed on mold by Norbert Schmid

Hempstone bodies in drying camber in Lafnitz

raw Hempstone body

finished body