Occasionally, I’ll build a flute with many ancient materials, dating back as far as 6 billion years. This is not one of those flutes, although a few of the materials are pretty old. Specifically, the wood is approximately 50,000 years old, while the black diamonds are compressed from Carbon between 87 and 120 miles below the earth’s surface, and require in excess of one billion years to form. The Bear Paw formation Ammolite, is approximately 70 million years old, forming as the inner shell of the Ammonite (think Nautilus) and deposited on the shores of an inland sea on the west side of the Rocky Mountains. This sea extended from Alberta Canada, to present day New Mexico, prior to the breakup of the super continent Pangaea. Lastly, the Anasazi pottery shard comes from a private ranch in Utah, and dates to approximately 1150 A.D.
The flute is 21-1/2” in length, with a 1” bore diameter. Woods used to form the mouthpiece include African black and white ebony, SE Asian amboyna burl, with both sandwiched between thin layers of maple, and capped with the Kauri bog wood. Moving forward, the sides of the compression chamber include 22mm disks of matching black and white ebony with a hint of hand colorized fire. While the fetish is cut from the Kauri, wing overlay includes sheet paua abalone, and addl. Amboyna burl, ending with a block bonding to Oklahoma red cedar, for moisture control. Inlay, beginning at the mouthpiece, includes the referenced 10x12mm ammolite triplet, flanked by 6mm turquoise cabs. The sides, adjacent to the ebony disks include 5.2mm dome cut Australian fire opals, while the sound chamber is accented with the referenced 11x33mm Anasazi pottery shard. The finger holes are accented with four 4mm abalone dots, and an 8mm black mother of pearl cab between the hole sets. Lastly, the bird includes a 6mm turquoise cab set to the crown, and 2.3mm African black diamonds, set as eyes.
The flute was tuned at 207ft. above sea level, with a wood temp of 73 degrees F, an air temp of 72.1 degrees, and 67% humidity, in Hermosa Beach CA, USA.
Please note that the fetish ties run through the flute, and not around it. Air drying of the flue area simply requires loosening the ties and gently pulling the block to the side. Should the block be removed completely, I recommend coaxing the deerskin back through the holes with a wooden toothpick to avoid damaging the channels.
Overall, this material is my favorite tone wood, as the cellular voids become amberized over thousands of years, rendering a soft wood with hard wood voice characteristics. I think you will agree.