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Western Design Conference 2018 Entry

WDC-Exhibit-Sale-LogoI am once again excited for the upcoming Western Design Conference to be held in Jackson Hole Wyoming September 6th thru the 9th at the base of the Snow King Resort.  Each year some of the BEST Functional Artists from all over the United States jury for entry into the WDC.

The Western Design Conference (WDC) brings together artists, scholars, collectors, interior designers, architects, and fashion designers with a passion for the West.  From documented American craft, to home design, to fashion, the show is expanding to encompass all aspects of the best of Western design.  This event celebrates functional museum-quality creations capturing the spirit of the West.

Last Fall for the 2017 WDC I decided not to participate and become a spectator.  I have to admit once I arrived to view other artist’s entries and see some old friend I wish I had entered the conference.  As a returning two time award winner in the category “ACCENTS” I am always excited to see how the judges view my craft.  Crafting unique Plains Influenced art is a passion that I have followed for quite some time.   This year I have decided to enter a juried piece that will be the first Native American Styled flute I have made that I have painted with the idea to have a more contemporary appeal.

Take The Journey With Me

This years piece will be for sale prior to, during and after the conference.  This flute is being done completely on spec.  The picture at the top of this post is an image of the actual flute blank that will become this years entry.  This image is the ugly beginnings of what will be an amazingly beautiful flute.

The flute is being crafted from a piece of Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar.  I have select this wood species for it’s ability to produce a beautiful sounding flute.  In addition Alaskan Ceder when finished finishes like glass and is the perfect medium for the acrylic and lacquer finish it will receive.

This flute will be a 1 inch bored flute and will feature Old Growth American Maple totem rails with the totem to be my newly design whimsical Mustang fetish.  The bore of the flute will feature a Stirling Silver bezel set cabochon hand made from Wyoming Elk Antler.  The actual antler piece that the cabochon will be crafted from is seen below.  This will be set into the body of the flute and should pop right off of the black setting with a high polished bezel to really give it a classy appeal.

Available for Purchase

This flute is available for purchase at any time during the construction of the project.  Although the price has yet to be determined I can assure you this will be a one of a kind Timothy Jennings crafted flute.  Delivery will not take place until after the Western Design Conference.  Any winnings during the conference belong to the artist.  If you are interested please complete the form below.  Check back from time to time to see the journey this flute will make from concept, to craft stage to voicing.  This flute will be voice at the base of the Tetons later this summer.  Key will probably be in the lower D – E range.  If you have questions reach out to me at “Sales@Jacksonholetim.com” or call me 307-690-0427.

2018 Western Design Entry Form

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Carving Some Mustang Fetishes

After completing several of these Mustang fetish/totems I have decided to craft in advance several of these new Mustang Fetishes for those of you who may want a new totem for an existing flute.  These will be fully completed fetishes.  Designed to work with a Native American Style Flute that has the focusing channel crafted or cut into the body of the flute.  Is is best suited for a larger bore flute of 7/8″ or better as this totem is a bit on the larger size.  The image in above was an 7/8″ Bore flute made for a customer in Cave Creek Arizona.  People seem to really like this totem so I thought I would build 3 or 4 on spec.

This totem/fetish will feature a chimney and the standard width is 3/8″ with a depth of around 7mm.  If you have a larger bore flute that has a larger windway area please contact me so we can match them up.  For example – a 1″ bore flute although typically will have a 3/8″ wide windway are it can be as wide as 1/2″ and still be correct.  The chimney needs to match your flutes windway as close as possible so it plays correctly.

The first three will be crafted from an old growth block of Maple.  The image that sits on the Port Orford Cedar flute above was crafted from this same block of wood.   Each of the totems I will carve will not be finished until I know who will purchase one.  Some like their flutes and totems to be oiled and other like a lacquered so the call will be yours.  Any fetish purchased will be shipped with a generous amount of 3/8″ Bison leather so you can attach it immediately to your chosen flute.

This is a fairly labor intensive totem so if you have any interest in purchasing one of these Mustang Fetishes please reach out to me by phone or email.  This fetish can also be crafted in other wood species if you are looking for another color pattern.  Price point will be determined on finish and species of wood selected.  If these are available when finished I will price them accordingly at that time.  Call or text me at (307) 690-0427 or email me at Sales@Jacksonholetim.com.

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Jackson Hole Tim Website Makes a Change!

As long as I have lived in Wyoming I have made Native American Style flutes, Wyoming influenced one of a kind jewelry, custom fetish designs and I have built some amazing commissioned pipe projects.  My view of Wyoming is also shared through my photography as I see it through the lens of a camera.  It is these things that bring purpose and joy to my life and as with all things time seems to find a way to erode away at them.  Jacksonholetim.com over time has become more of a store selling parts to others who seek the knowledge to build or learn to build the wind instrument known to most as the Native American Flute rather than a platform to share my art.  I have spent countless hours crafting flute parts and sharing what took me years to learn which is to share the knowledge of how to build one of these fine instruments.  I have enjoyed sharing what I have learned but now it;s time to get back to the genesis of all this.

As I get older I find less and less time to actually do what it is I want… no feel called to do which is to be a builder of flutes, pipes and share my visions of Wyoming through the lens of a camera.  As I approach 60 years of age I find that time is now my biggest enemy with less and less of it at hand.  I want to go back to my craft and create flutes that others will find joy in playing.  So from this post forward you will see a change in our menu choices and the elimination of flute parts, wood stocks and other flute making supplies and I will begin to focus back on creating, crafting and designing new projects for others.  I am actively interviewing for new commissions for flute and pipe projects.  Because of the time each commission project consumes I have a limit amount of project slots I can offer each year.  If you want to open a dialog for a new project that I can do for you simply reach out and let’s talk.

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Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Walnut Rails Key D 440

Currently under construction this is going to be a beautiful 1 inch bored flute.  Tentative tuning will be a D @ 440 Hz.  This flute will feature Black Walnut fetish guide rails and an inlaid cutting edge also in walnut.  Overall length of this flute should come in at 27 1/2 Inches measured on top.  This flute has a fundamental note of D @ 440 Hz but could be changed if you hurry.  Plans to finish with a high gloss lacquer but this too could be changed if you are interested in this flute.  Progress for this flute can be found in our UNDER CONSTRUCTION LINK found in our menu system.

If you are interested simply email me at “sales@jacksonholetim.com” and reference this flute.  Or call me at 307-690-0427.  Price for this flute has yet to be determined… still time to make it your own.

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Sassafras Flute Returns for Re-Work

This is a post for a flute I just finished re-working and sent back to a client.  It came to me as a C# and we changed it to a D @432Hz.  This is a flute I made several years ago for a client in Idaho and when it came back to me I immediately saw some things I wanted to change.  The eagle fetish now placed on the flute was one she purchase from me a year ago for another flute and she wanted to use it on this flute along with the feather fetish originally created as you can see in the photo below.  We did not put a finish on the flute originally by request nor did we this time after reshaping.

If you look closely at the original photo below you will see that this flute was a bit on the big side and with a 1″ bore a C# is really not the best key for it.  So I re-tuned it to a D @432Hz.  This flute sounds a lot better and plays really nice.  I had to make some adjustments to the eagle fetish chimney so it would not interfere with the flow of air.  The image above is the same flute after re-working it.  Much more slender, hand carved signature step in front of the windway and a much tighter mouthpiece.  I did not change anything in the length of the flute nor did I adjust the playing holes.  All tuning was done using an undercutting technique.  I only hope she is pleased with the end result.

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Black Walnut Flute with Sapodilla Rail F# 432 Hz

Just completed this flute is one that has been shared in our Under Construction Page.  This six hole Native American Style flute is handcrafted from a piece of very old Black Walnut harvested from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.  Not a matched set of blanks but cut from the same board.  This flute features a 7/8″ bore tuned to the key of F# @432Hz and Sapodilla rails which nests the fetish which is our Teton Spike.  The Spike is crafted from a piece of Bubinga which is seldom used in our shop and it will be attached with a matrix of our Handcut Wyoming Tan Bison Leather.  Flute body features our signature hand cut step.  Another very nice flute.   Available for $325.00 plus shipping.  CLICK HERE for full details on this flute.

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New Port Orford Cedar Flute Key G @ 440Hz

We have just added a new flute available for sale.  This Port Orford Cedar flute is a five hole flute tuned to the Key of G @ 440Hz.  This is a very very nice POC flute with an incredible voice.  In an attempt to make some of our flutes more affordable we have priced this flute at $185.00.  This is in a small way our attempt to make some of our flutes available for the first time flute buyer.  But do not be fooled by the price – this little flute is really nice. beginner or not  For more information CLICK HERE and see the full details of this amazing little flute.

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Port Orford Cedar Commission Ships Out…

Recently I was blessed with another commission for a gentleman who lives in the South along the Gulf Coast.  After several email exchanges and a few phone calls I agreed to make the flute you see here.  This order was for a flute that was basically complete and playable leaving the final finishing work for the customer.  This flute was handcrafted from Old Growth Port Orford Cedar and it was crafted with a 7/8″ Bore.  I tuned it to F# @432 Hz.  Because of the extreme difference between my altitude here in Wyoming and his along the gulf I did my best to set the tuning to the flat side of the note.  The image you see here has NO finish on either the flute or the walnut spike totem.  Just the natural colors of both.

As we all know wood is ever-changing with its environment.  Some say it is a living being.  The fact is we are at 6200 feet and he at around 250.  Temperature and humidity are vastly different too.  But the flute is leaving in tune with itself and I am sure he will be very pleased with how it plays.  The fetish or totem was originally planned to be my whimsical Otter Design but after building the flute it was clear the totem needed to be one that had a chimney.  Every one of my Windways are hand cut and no matter how many I do I never really know how it will be until after glue up.   As with all the flutes I make we will ship this with a protective bag.

If you would like to commission a flute like this simply reach out.  I would love to build one just for you.

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James Johnson Tlingit Native American Artist to Collaborate on Two New Flutes…

Earlier this summer I was invited by a very good friend of mine to come to see a showing of a very talented Tlingit (pronounced “cling-git”) Native American artist here in Jackson Hole Wyoming.  The gallery where his art was to be shown was at ASYMBOL Gallery based here in Jackson.  I was excited to see his work because of the style of art James does and truthfully James is one of the last of his people painting in their traditional ways.  ASYMBOL is owned by Travis Rice, world famous extreme snowboarder and producer of many fine things.  The passion Travis shares for art and those who create imagery for all to enjoy comes through with their support for James.

So my wife and I went with great anticipation and really not knowing much about his style of art, which is really the telling of stories.  James was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska and he belongs to the Ch’aak Dakl’aweodi Clan (Eagle/Killerwhale).  It was his late father from the Raven/Shark Clan that first encouraged him to pursue Tlingit carving and learn the traditional Tlingit formline.

James is named after his Grandfather, Chief Peter Johnson of Angoon and his Great Grandfather Jimmy Johnson of Angoon.  James says his art honors his Tlingit heritage.  From the very first moment I met James I just simply loved this guy as well as his artwork.  Not only is it different from the Plains Indian influenced art that has been my passion I truly believe that his art comes in the form of simple elegance.  The lines, the colors, the medium all come together to tell his stories.

James’s art is represented by several entities such as N-Grained, alongside Mark Landvik, ASYMBOL by Travis Rice and he is also an artist for Zohi Gallery in Santa Fe New Mexico.  Zohi Gallery is 100% Native Owned and Operated representing 30 of the top native artists in the country.  In addition James is supported by Sealaska Heritage Foundation in Juneau.  Sealaska supports the top Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian Artists from Alaska working to preserve each tribe’s heritage and culture thru their respective art.

James takes very seriously the honor that has been bestowed upon him to carry on the traditions and cultures of his people.  Although James tells me there is no word for “Art” in the Tlingit language you will beg to differ when you see his work.  Traditional Tlingit formline is the foundation for James’s artwork and “Art Form” that was developed thousands of years ago by his ancestors.  James’s current work is a healthy mix of both traditional and contemporary Tlingit styles of his own.

Recently I had the opportunity to share with James some lumber that I wanted to give to him.  One of the species I work in almost daily was a piece of true old growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar.  My favorite second is the amazing Port Orford Cedar and both make the most beautiful flute instruments.  I provided James with one Alaskan Yellow Cedar and one Port Orford Cedar Board and within weeks he created two amazing works of art.  The Dancing Eagle paddle shown here to the right was one of but two amazing works by James.

Actual Alaskan Yellow Cedar Flute Blank – One of Two to be Crafted by Tim and James

After meeting James and seeing how he turned a solid single board into this beautifully crafted paddle I knew I had to try to see if we could work together.  So as I often do I reached out to James and asked him if he would have an interest in bringing some of his Tlingit Formlines to some of my flutes.  James responded right away and the short version is we are going to craft two flutes that will be available for purchase soon.  These two flutes will more than likely be the ONLY two of their kind when done.  Both of these flutes are being crafted from old growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar  and the image above is one of the flute bodies that will be the blank canvas for James to work his magic.

The above image is of one of the actual flute bodies we are crafting.  We are just about to tune these flutes and once this is complete they will be shipped to James for him to create his Formline Art.  In addition to his artwork James will also be carving the totem for each of these two flutes.  Both flutes are 1″ inch bored flutes and will be probably in the low E range.  Depending on the final product we will craft flute bags crafted from either Elk or Bison hides.  We will be posting additional picture as we make progress.

For those of you who collect flutes this might be the time for you to extend yourselves and gain ownership in true works of art.  This is functional art at its very best and I am excited to work with James on my very first Plains Indian Influenced flute and true traditional Tlingit Form Art.  If you are interested in finding out more about these two in production flutes send us an email to “timjen333@gmail.com”.  There is no price point established as of this post but these will be gallery quality works of art.  It has not yet been decided where these flutes will be available to be seen but more on that later.

I am excited to be working with James on this new project and I have high expectations to the finished product…

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A Story About Mary

 

MaryBlakeley_1_smA couple of years ago I was commissioned to build a very special flute.   I have made a post about this before but I wanted to update this article as there has been some very nice things take place this past summer directly related to this post.  I completed the construction of a very nice flute for one of my favorite customers, Mary Blakeley, who lives in Idaho. This is one of the first flutes where I crafted the entire flute and fetish but did not put a finish on the flute prior to shipping.

Mary wanted to complete this process for her flute on her own and I was excited to see what she has in mind. This flute was crafted from a very interesting piece of Sassafras.  Sassafras is very nice wood to work with and I like the tonal qualities of this wood.  Generally Sassafras is kind of non descriptive wood and it does not have the flash that other domestic species can have.

This board was unusual because the grain patterns were very nice. The problem was – the board was twisted and bent and wow – I was not sure I would be able to make it work.  After consulting with Mary she made the decision that this piece was the one for her so I agreed to go ahead and see what I could do.

EternalComfort_4_smBecause I liked the grain patterns so well I cut the best sections out of the board and spent two weeks trying various tricks to help straighten the blanks out.  After a couple of weeks and several different methods I realized that I was going to have to simply do my best during the glue up phase and make sure I had enough clamps on the blanks and a good solid coat of glue to boot.

EternalComfort_6_smPrior to glue up there were two things I needed to do.  First Mary requested I write into the inside of the flute the name “GOD” in Paleo Hebrew which I did.  I then sealed the name into the flute body and it is now part of this flute forever.  Second, I scored the entire gluing surfaces by hand with a sharp blade to give us some extra bite for the glue.  Prior to the glue up I inlaid a small piece of ironwood into the top of the flute. This inlay became the cutting edge on this flute and the contrast came out perfect.  Then I clamped it up and as you can see we made sure we had enough on the blanks. We left the blanks in the clamps overnight to make sure we gave it ample drying time and later the next day we removed the clamps and the results could not have been better.

“Amazing but that is what God does with music. Most believers want to have their emotions manipulated with music but they don’t realize that to God, music is communication. He communicates to us through the music of creation, twinkling stars, rushing water, winds that whisper and winds that roars through the trees, crashing waves and babies cries. The native flute is so special because when we give it our breath, it give us it’s song and each one has a song all its own. Through it we can release the deep sounds of our being.”

Mary Blakeley

We wanted to shoot for a lower C# which made this a very long flute, almost 30 inches in length. We used the four winds tuning holes and spent hours tuning the flute the best I could.  A C# is just about at the outside abilities for a 1 inch bored flute.  I was able to achieve the fundamental note and like all of our flutes I voiced it for the first time right here in Jackson Hole Wyoming, home of the Teton Mountain  range.

EternalComfort_13_lgThe fetish was one of my custom made whimsical feather designs that was crafted from a single piece old growth walnut with a band of sapwood in it.  The base of the fetish is the sapwood and the feather is the black walnut color.  A chimney was created to help with prevention of the #6 hole from jumping to easily and the results were pleasing.

After many hours of frustration and several challenges that we were faced with this flute ended up being one my favorites that I have worked on in quite some time.  Nothing came easy on this flute and there were several times where I thought it was going to end up in my fireplace.  But with Mary’s constant coaxing and support this flute came out just beautiful.  We shipped this flute to her some time ago and I awaited pictures from her once she had completed her finishing project.  All in all a very nice project.

After Mary had received her flute she finished it herself with her favorite wood oil and beeswax  The picture to the left is the finished flute at her home in Idaho.  Mary did a real nice job on completing the project and now she is busy bringing the life of this flute to others where she if helping people heal from problems they face.  Recently Mary sent an email to me about one of her first experiences playing the flute she now calls “Eternal Comfort”.  In her message to me she was sharing an experience where she was playing this flute over a sick woman trying to bring comfort to her.  Within minutes this lady had fallen to sleep.  Above is a block quote from her email to me that is one of the best descriptions of how sound and music communicates to us.  This is a project where I have received more from Mary then Mary has from me.  This is a very special woman with a desire to only help others – we need more like her…

UPDATE:  Recently I received a package in the mail from Mary.  It was long like a flute but I thought how could this be.  I had recently crafted a new flute for her at her request out of a piece of Black Willow I had been saving.  Mary had a vision that her next flute was to be an eagle flute and so this is what we came up with.  Again this new flute was to be shipped with no finish on the wood as she would take care of this herself.  Could this package I just received be this flute I had shipped to her earlier in the year?  So I eagerly opened the package and to my surprise it was a flute but to my great relief it was not the flute below.  After looking at it carefully I suddenly realized that is was the very flute this article was written about.  Mary was returning it to me as a gift – one that I had never received before in all the flutes I have made for people.  Mary wanted me to have this flute and to do something new and exciting with it.  To be truthful I am not sure what exactly that is but I have this flute in front of me and I see it every day.  I think of Mary most days and I think of all the flutes we have shared over the past few years.  Mary has a gift, a gift of love and sharing the word of God.  A very spiritual women she is and I thank God everyday for our chance meeting many years ago.