During my 18 years of building these instruments, a very few (six in total) make me think, based on voice and appearance, that I must have channeled somebody else during construction. This is one of those instruments.
This flute is 23” in length, with a 7/8” bore diameter, tuned to Fm. Burl wood, being basically a knot, is beautiful, but has grain anomalies that in this case, required backfilling with Arizona Sleeping Beauty mine turquoise powder. The instrument comes with two fetish blocks. One has ties running through the body of the flute, and the other, a compression fit, requires no ties at all. The first is a stylized bird, and the second is not a turtle. It’s another bird. A stylized water fowl, to be specific.....use your imagination.
Woods used, predominately burls, begin at the mouthpiece, with twice dyed box elder burl between layers of SE Asian afzalia burl, capped with the Oregon myrtle. To each side of the compression chamber, I’ve inlaid 19mm disks of the box elder burl, with each slightly hand colorized. Fetish #1 begins with carved Oregon myrtle burl, bonded to a base of Oklahoma red cedar for moisture control. The wing overlay consists of abalone, cedar and box elder burl, with a little green hand colorizing to the tail section. Block #2 is cut from California buckeye burl, again with a base of cedar for moisture control. The horizontal wing overlay includes abalone, the myrtle burl, eucalyptus burl, additional Paua abalone, mappa burl, old growth redwood burl, and lastly, SE Asian amboyna burl.
Inlay to the instrument starts with a 9x10mm freeform Australian boulder opal at the mouthpiece, flanked by 4x4mm dome cut turquoise cabs. The stone forward from the fetish is a 13x20mm teardrop cut labradorite while the finger holes are accented with four 4mm Australian fire opals, separated by an additional 7mm dome cut labradorite cab. Block #1 has a beautiful 7mm Ethiopian opal set to the crown, with 2.8mm hematite beads set as eyes, while block #2 has a 6mm Ethiopian opal set to the crown, and tiny 1mm faceted cognac African diamonds set as eyes.
The flute was tuned at an ambient temperature of 71.5°F, a wood temperature of 74.4°F and a humidity factor of 38%.
Purchase includes a waterfall fringe raven buckskin bag designed and handmade by Ann Charles of Kansa bags. Retail price for the bag was $165.00. Assorted paperwork as to care and feeding is also included.