This flute has an overall length of 25-3/4” with a one inch bore diameter. The harvest location of the maple is unknown. Woods used consist of maple, between layers of SE Asian amboyna burl, capped with curly maple, forming the mouthpiece, while the fetish is cut from curly maple, bonded to a base of Oklahoma red cedar. Incidentally, the fetish block is not a prairie dog, or a weasel. It’s a cat. It can be a bobcat, your cat, your neighbor’s cat, a mountain lion, a cheetah, an albino panther. You pick.
Inlay, beginning at the mouthpiece, includes a 7.5mm cab of Bear Paw ammolite, flanked by two 4.3mm dome cut turquoise cabs. The ammolite is the opalized inner shell of the ammonite. Now considered the rarest gem material in the world, this piece is 70 million years old.
The fetish ties run through the flute rather than around it, allowing me to inlay the sides of the compression chamber with 22mm disks of amboyna burl, pyrographics, 6mm dome cut natural almandine garnets, a little crushed Ethiopian jasper, and crushed turquoise from Globe Arizona’s Sleeping Beauty mine.
Moving to the sound chamber, I’ve added a beautiful 11.15x15.65mm Australian Karoit boulder opal, while the finger holes are accented with four 5mm abalone disks, and a 6mm dome cut rainbow topaz separates each set of three holes. The tuning hole at the foot of the flute, cut as a serpent, is inlayed with 4 and 2.9mm abalone dots.
Lastly, the fetish has a 6mm turquoise cab set to the crown, and 2.4mm faceted African black diamonds, set as eyes.
The flute includes a removable (slide off) wrap of South Dakota prairie rattlesnake skin, and was tuned at 72.4 degrees F @60% humidity.
For drying purposes, the fetish ties can be loosened and the fetish pulled slightly to the side, to avoid re-threading the ties through the flute. Should re-threading become necessary, coaxing the ties through the flute is best accomplished with a wooden toothpick.