A burl is an anomaly, or growth that will typically develop underground, on a root. They’re rare, and highly prized for their complex grain pattern. This particular piece began as a tool destroying mix of epoxy and crushed pipestone to the bore, hoping it wouldn’t explode. Thereafter, 28+ burl voids were filled with powdered turquoise from Arizona’s Sleeping Beauty mine, as well as Battle Mtn. material from Elko Nev. Additionally, Arizona malachite, chrysocolla, Mexican limonite and Ethiopian jasper were powdered to fill in these holes.
This flute is 21 inches in length, with a 7/8th inch bore diameter. It really wanted to be a flute, as the live edge required no tuning holes to render a perfect F# fundamental note.
The mouthpiece consists of old growth lace redwood burl between layers of SE Asian afzelia burlwood. Afzelia has now surpassed amboyna as the rarest, most expensive burl wood in the world. The fetish is cut from the buckeye burl, and bonded to a base of Oklahoma red cedar. With overlays of paua abalone, and the referenced afzalia burl. One burl void on the bird’s back was awkward for stone inlay and sanding and was instead filled with 23kt.gold. I felt like a dentist.
Inlay, beginning at the mouthpiece includes a 7x13mm Mexican boulder opal flanked by 5.2mm dome cut Australian fire opals. Forward from the block sits a 6mm hematite cab, matching the bird’s eyes, as well as a beautiful 17x13mm Mexican jelly opal. The finger holes are accented with four 6mm abalone cabs as well as a 6mm Australian opal. Lastly, the fetish has an 8mm mystery stone set to the crown, (might be abalone) as well as 2.4mm hematite beads set as eyes.
The flute was tuned at 72 degrees F, @ 65% humidity. The wood temp was 75.0 degrees F, and tuning was done at 122 ft. above sea level.
Purchase includes a removable (slide off) wrap of South Dakota prairie rattlesnake skin, added because it just looked appropriate to me.
Overall, there are aspects of this build that look like it was crafted by a 9 year old, given the nature of the material. I make no apologies, as this is a beautiful example of the mysteries of Mother Nature.
Please note, purchase includes a fleece lined, cordura covered hard shell case from The Flutecase Store, as well as a beautiful buckeye burl stand, with the material's voids backfilled with addl. turquoise and pipestone, and inlaid with 12 mm abalone cabs. I'm thinking the stand will have to be shipped separately.