This was an interesting project. During the time spent building this flute, it spoke to me in about 9 different languages. Unfortunately, I only understood two of them.
Built from very lively maple that was both too hard and too soft, the flute is 22-1/16” in length with a 1”x 1-1/4” oval bore.
Two blocks were built for this flute, as the first is somewhat fragile, and may or may not require some degree of maintenance to work properly. Paperwork is included outlining this block’s unique characteristics. This first block is a stylized waterbird, and is a compression fit fetish requiring no deerskin ties. Cut from one block of buckeye burl, the fetish is accented with overlays of systemically dyed maple wherein the tree was fed harmless colored water during various growth cycles, then harvested and veneered to reveal rainbow coloration. Additional layers include yew, madrone burl, mappa burl, Virginia walnut burl, additional dyed maple, more buckeye burl, and is capped with SE Asian amboyna burl. The second, more traditional bird of prey fetish is cut from Buckeye, bonded to Oklahoma red cedar, with overlays to the wings of systemically dyed maple, Madrona burl, white Ash, paua abalone, and additional buckeye. Various burl voids throughout the flute were filled with crushed turquoise from the Sleeping Beauty mine in Globe Az.
Inlay begins at the mouthpiece with a 6x8mm dome cut Lightning Ridge boulder opal, flanked by two 4mm domed turquoise cabs from Tibet. Each side of the compression chamber includes a 22mm disk of aqua dyed box elder burl inset with a 5mm abalone dot. Forward from the fetish, the top of the sound chamber is accented with an 11x16mm flat top Mexican crazy lace agate and surrounding pyrographics. Within the pyrographic design, I’ve included a 2.8mm faceted African black diamond, and a 4mm solid dome cut Australian fire opal. Moving toward the end of the flute, the finger holes are accented with (4) 4mm abalone cabs and a 7x12mm diamond cut cab of abalone. At the far end, or foot, I burned in a stylized waterbird, and accented it with a tiny 2.5mm solid Australian opal. Lastly, the back of the waterbird fetish is inset with a 6x9mm ammolite cab* and two 2.1mm African black diamonds, set as eyes. The other more traditional bird includes an 8mm, quartz capped ammolite cab set to the crown, and 2.4mm faceted black African diamonds, set as eyes…* The ammolite is harvested from the inner shell of ammonites. These creatures thrived in the shallows of an inland sea just east of the Rocky Mountains, prior to the breakup of the single land mass, Pangaea, into the various continents. The material is 70 million years old.
Purchase of this flute includes a protective fleece bag, a fleece lined cordura hard shell case from the Flutecase Store, and a small two piece manzanita burlwood display stand.
This flute was tuned at a wood temperature of 71.6 degrees F, @ 66% humidity in Hermosa Beach Ca.