Again, in building a flute from my favorite tonewood, I've accented this 50,000 year old wood, with some materials that are as old, and older, than the Kauri itself. Before discussing the build, a brief explanation of some of the materials are as follows.....New Zealand Kauri is bogwood. The variety is indigenous to New Zealand, and is approximately 50,000 years old. It may be older, but the accuracy of Carbon-14 dating falls off dramatically beyond 40,000 years. The wood was totally preserved as a result of the acids in the peat bog water at the time it fell over. When this tree fell, mankind had yet to venture out of Africa. Kauri still grows in New Zealand today, with a diameter about the size of a house.
Ammolite is the inner lining of the shell of the Ammonite, which when fossilized will occasionally take on an opalescence and coloration of red, green, yellow, and rarely, blue and purple. I generally use Bear Paw ammolite. This material is harvested from Alberta Canada, and is approximately 70 million years old. Specifically, prior to the breakup of the super continent Pangaea into the various land masses, the Bear Paw Sea extended from the Arctic Circle, to present day New Mexico. This creature thrived in the shallows of that sea, along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.
The Gibeon Meteorite was stumbled upon by British explorers in Namaqualand Namibia, in 1836, as local tribesmen were using the material for spear points. It is in a class of fine Octahedrites, consisting of iron, nickel, and cobalt. The fall date was approximately 30,000 years ago, at a speed of 17 miles per second. Exploding overhead, the trajectory caused this material to be spread over 220 linear miles. The Gibeon is a fragment of an exploded star, and additional minerals consist of chromite, deabreelite, enstatite, kamacite, taenite, and tridymite. Subjected to radiometric dating, this fragment is 4 billion years old. I had this material milled and acid etched. The nitric acid etching makes visible the “Widmanstatten lines” wherein the elements of kamacite and taenite, re-align themselves as a result of cooling during the 4 billion year trip through space. From its original state as molten iron, at the time of the star’s explosion, the material cooled at the rate of ONE DEGREE Celsius for every thousand years of travel through space. Hematite is just sort of interesting. Most of the oldest material in the Universe is some form of iron compound. Hematite is the mineral form of iron oxide, and although plentiful on earth, has recently been found on Mars. Informally named “Blueberries”, the material was found in abundance at two locations on the planet by the Mars Global Surveyor, and the Mars Odyssey spacecraft.
This flute is 18-3/8" in length, with a 7/8" bore diameter, tuned to G#m. Woods used in addition to the Kauri, starting at the mouthpiece include box elder burl, between layers of SE Asian amboyna burl, and capped with the kauri. Each side of the compression chamber is accented with 19mm disks of the box elder burl, twice dyed, stabalized, and slightly hand colorized in green. The fetish block is cut from kauri bonded to a base of Oklahoma red cedar, with wing overlays of paua abalone, a blond mystery wood, and addl. amboyna burl.
Inlay, in addition to the woods mentioned, beginning at the mouthpiece, includes an 8x12mm triangulated, acid etched cut of the Gibeon meteorite, flanked by 4.4mm old Tibetan sourced dome cut turquoise dots. Adjacent to the woods in the compression chamber are two 8mm quartz capped abalone cabs as well.
.....Forward from the fetish block, I've inset a marquis cut, quartz capped cab of Bear Paw ammolite adjacent to a 10x33mm Anasazi pottery shard, dated to 1000-1250 AD. Further south, the finger holes are accented with four 4mm abalone dots, as well as a 6mm dome cut rainbow topaz. Lastly, the fetish block is set with a 6mm black pearl, chosen because it has a green tinge to it. This is set to the crown, with 2.4mm hematite beads, set as eyes.
The flute was tuned at an ambient temp of 72.1 degrees F, @ 39% humidity, and 160 ft. above sea level.
Since the fetish ties run through the flute instead of around it, for drying purposes, it is only necessary to loosen the ties and move the block to the side. Should the ties be completely removed, it is best to coax them back through the holes with a wooden toothpick, so as not to damage the channels.