Meet the Maker: Elisa Drumm Van Auken

Elisa Drumm Van Auken

From Child in Gallery to Successful Artist on Her Own

Elisa Drumm Van Auken

“I grew up in this business,” says Elisa Drumm Van Auken, “attending craft shows and exhibitions at a young age as well as working in my parents’ gallery while in high school.”

Since then, she’s succeeded on her own.

Van Auken is the child of Don and Lisa Drumm, and grandchild of painter Joseph Plavcan. After earning a degree from the Rhode Island School of Design’s Textile Department, she worked in New York as a colorist and designer of menswear. “Most of the work I did was for surf wear companies,” she says.


After marrying and moving to the Boston area, Van Auken worked for a sweatshirt designer before starting her own line of hand-printed clothing.

“About eight years ago I switched to wood and got rid of the sewing machines,” she says. “My collection of wood clocks, mirrors, boxes and furniture reflect my background as a surf wear designer. I like working with bright colors and patterns.”


Van Auken uses pine plank or medium-density fiberboard for most of her “whimsical” work. “The furniture and boxes are stained first, then painted and varnished,” she says. “The clocks and mirrors are painted with latex paint, then varnished and adorned. Everything is hand-painted by me!”

“I am always looking to be inspired by something I have seen or been exposed to,” she says. “Other times customers have asked me to design something specific for them.” Upon request, she’s creating a line based on guitars at her Concord, Mass., studio.

  • Company Name: E. Drumm Designs

  • Product Categories: Home Decor: Clocks, Picture Frames, Boxes, For the Wall; Furniture: Tables

  • Studio Location: Concord, MA

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