From time to time I come across a flute project I did for someone else and as I look back on it I get excited about how the flute came out. One of my favorite woods to work with is Port Orford Cedar which is not easy to get anymore. But I do have some stashed away for special occasions.
This flute was made for a client in the Cave Creek Arizona area and I really liked how it turned out. The customer wanted to have a flute that voiced an “A” @ 440Hz. As most of you know I live in the Yellowstone Basin here in Wyoming so our altitude and weather patterns are quite a bit different than the desert region of Arizona. Building a flute in Wyoming and shipping to Arizona and hitting the mark for tuning is always a challenge. All in all I think I was able to get pretty close.
What I like about this flute is the simple elegance it embraced and the mix of the Sapodilla Totem Rails, Cutting Edge inlay and the Maple Mustang fetish it was a really eye appealing flute when finished. Easy to play and sounded wonderful. We recorded the sound clip here in Wyoming after it was finished so check out the voice of this flute in the clip below.
Commissioned projects are always fun yet stressful to do. This flute project was one I really enjoyed. I would love to work on another project like this one again for a new customer. Maybe that customer is you? Let me know what you think of this flute in the comments below. If you would like to explore a flute for you similar reach out to me.
The latter part of 2018 I started to craft some flutes with the intent to paint them rather than finish them in their natural state. This flute is one of 4 that I am either building or finished with. This particular flute is hand crafted from Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar and finished both inside and out in Acrylic Black.
This is a larger flute with a bore of 1″ and tuned to the key of D# @ 440Hz. In addition I have added a hand cut Wyoming Elk Antler Cabochon that is set in a Sterling Silver Bezel. I added a pair of Totem rails for the Mustang fetish and both the rails and the fetish are crafted from American Maple and finished in their natural wood colors.
I made a stand for this flute and like the flute the stand is finished in a high gloss black acrylic. The stand however is made from Old Growth Black Walnut harvested from the Boulder Colorado area. Final accents are the hand cut Wyoming Black Bison lace and I have added some Sterling Silver beads that have finally tarnished to their natural state and some red and black glass Crow beads.
This is a beautiful flute that not only sounds and plays well it will look fabulous in a prominent place in your home or business. One of my favorites to date.
Available for Commission
This flute like most of the flutes you can see here at jacksonholetim.com is available for commission. This was not a commissioned piece but one that I just wanted to build for my own satisfaction. This flute could be duplicated with other very cool colors other than black.
Black Alaskan Yellow Cedar Sound Clip
$785 Plus Shipping. Shipping within the lower 48 is generally $16.95 FEDEX GROUND. For other shipping options please contact me. Call or Text (307) 690-0427 or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier this year I was commissioned to craft a new flute from Old Growth Port Orford Cedar. The client requested a flute tuned to the Key of A @ 440 Hz and she wanted it to be “Concert Tuned”. I was excited to build this new flute as Port Orford Cedar is one of my very favorite species to work with.
So I found the stock I was going to craft this flute from and from the very beginning it just all seem to come together. One new addition to this flute was the addition of an inlaid Sapodilla Cutting Edge and two totem rails crafted from the same piece of Sapodilla as the inlaid edge. By spending the extra time on an inlaid edge and using a wood species quite a bit harder than the POC this would insure a cleaner sound and more resistant to future potential damage – not to mention is looks really cool.
Because this flute was being crafted with a 7/8″ Bore and we were shooting for an “A” I knew this flute would tend to be a bit shorter than many that I make. I designed this flute to have a longer Slow Air Chamber and a stop block of around 1 1/4″ along with a 2 3/4″ blowhole to help with the overall aesthetics. One other addition was to tune the fundamental note using the 4 Winds tuning holes which also give additional length to the overall flute.
Because I handcraft and hand shape all of my flutes I have to be careful when it comes to adding Totem Rails which you can see in the image above. At this point you can see the Cutting Edge inlay is complete, the playing holes and 4 Winds tuning holes have been laid out. The Totem Rails have been added and glued to the body of the flute and at this point it was time to start the shaping of this flute.
After a few weeks of prep work, gluing, clamping, shaping and sanding I had come up with what for me was a new design in that this flute feature a tapered rail that when the fetish or totem was added the back of the fetish would meet the end of the taper. This approach created a bit different shape towards the mouthpiece, meaning not so round, but more of an edgy look and overall I really like it.
Tuning this flute was also a challenge as I live in the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of over 6400 feet. Our humidity is higher than Arizona which is where this flute would call home. Finally temperature is another real issue when tuning. So I decided to tune the flute to the flat side of the note with the expectation that when the flute finds its way home to Arizona the lower humidity, lower elevation and higher temperatures the note would play closer to fundamental note of A. We will see… some tweaking down the road may be required.
The final job to complete was to come up with a totem that met the desire of the client by yet allowed me to keep my whimsical tendencies that seems to run a common thread in other totems I have designed. This flute was to have some sort of horse head totem and so this was what I ended up with. The new owner likes to affectionately call it the Crazy Horse totem. Seems fitting…
Spring Break in Jackson Hole is a welcome time of the year as we are emerging from the depths of Old Man Winter here in Western Wyoming. Each Spring our kids get 2 full weeks for Spring Break which is plenty of time to take a road trip. This year a road trip south was needed more than other. Our epic snowfall was one for the record book and it was still falling upon our departure.
“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.”
This year our road trip was to take us first to Scottsdale Arizona to visit family and then on to San Diego. One of the highlights planned was to visit a Scottsdale venue where Tony Duncan was to play.
For those who may not know Tony Duncan is one of our true Native American Music treasures and he is an Award Winning Native American Flute Artist and World Champion Hoop Dancer (5 times World Champion). Tony has been blessed to play with the likes of Carlos Nakai, Joanne Shenandoah, Nelly Furtado and other great music artists. He was awarded Artist of the Year at the Native American Music Awards for 2013-2014 and he has played to huge audiences globally. Tony has played the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Smithsonian Museum, The Billboard Music Awards, The Tonight Show, and The White House.
The Native American Flute is one of the most beautiful instruments handed down from Mother Earth and when in the hands of Tony, well lets just say a Spirit comes through and straight to your heart.
Recently I had the opportunity to deliver a flute I made to Tony. Although this flute took a bit longer than I had wanted I finally was able to have it delivered before our trip to Arizona. The flute pictured above is the actual flute crafted for Tony and above (picture) is a link of a video sent to me by Tony of him playing it in Arizona shortly thereafter.
We arrived in Scottsdale late Friday evening after driving 900 miles. Then Saturday morning we made our way down to the Scottsdale Civic Center just in time to hear Tony play and to our great surprise he was playing his new Raven Themed flute. This man is blessed for sure. We met his family again and chatted a bit about things and after the show we parted ways and our family went on to eat lunch in town. But I must tell you how humbled I was to hear the voice of this flute after spending so many hours crafting it. Tony could not have been more gracious as was his wife Violet. And his children are so full of life and clearly one big happy family.
For those who would like to seek Tony’s music out he is currently signed to Canyon Records, the largest Native American music label and his music is available through iTunes and other music vendors. Follow Tony Duncan on FaceBook. I look forward to the next opportunity to craft another flute for Tony… I hope soon…
I have been commissioned to build a new flute from the above pre-glued Black Willow flute blank. Although this blank is currently sitting at a C# @ 440Hz we will be changing this and tuning this flute to the requested 444Hz range. Not sure of the key but I should know pretty quick.
I am building this flute for one of my favorite customers, Mary. She always likes to challenge me with something new and different. This will be the first flute I tune at the “new” 444Hz as she tells me. I am excited to see how this flute turns out. More to follow…
Every Once and a while a project comes along that really finds a place in your soul. This is one of those times. On Monday I will be shipping this project to its new owner in Canada. A First Nations man will carry this flute with him on an upcoming journey that will take him across Canada over a two-year period.
The idea for this flute came about after recently delivering a Native Styled pipe to the Western Ojibwe in Canada for which I was commissioned to craft. In a way this flute is a continuation of this pipe. The pipe which will be carried across Canada for the upcoming Tree of Peace Unity Walk will now have this flute as it’s companion. I have named this flute the “Spirit of the Pipe”.
I shared a vision with my Elders, Clan Mothers, and Grandfathers. At the Council Fire they contemplated my vision, and in turn, they received a vision of a Sacred Eagle Pipe that was to be gifted to me. Through ceremony and reflection, Spirit guided us to Timothy. The Elders, Clan Mothers, and Grandfathers saw in his previous work, that it was evident that Timothy has a connection with the spirit of the materials he uses. This was very important to us as this Sacred Eagle Pipe will lead a Tree of Peace Unity Walk and the planting of 44 Peace Trees across Canada. This Unity Walk is the vision I received that will bring together First Nations Peoples and all Canadians for world peace and the healing of Mother Earth. When I received the pipe in a ceremony, I felt the energy of Timothy’s connection with the spirit in the wood and stone, in the making of this sacred pipe. Timothy is a master craftsman and artist who’s hands are blessed by the Great Spirit. In gratitude from myself and the Elders, Clan Mothers, and Grandfathers of the Cherokee, Iroquois, Ojibwe, and Cree of the Council Fire of this vision, we honor Timothy and his creation of the sacred pipe.
Walk Sacred, Talk Sacred,
Jesse-Blue Forrest – Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle
I wanted to incorporate the spirit from the sacred pipe by attaching a mouth piece to the flute that was crafted from the very same stone the pipe was made from. In addition my plans were to craft a cabochon from the same stone to inlay into this flute. In my mind’s eye this addition of the stone to the flute would help carry the spirit of this pipe over to the flute. I had hopes that this flute would share in the very same journey as the pipe.
As one draws in the smoke from the pipe in ceremony this same breath would give life through their playing of the flute. If this were to happen this would accomplish my vision for this piece.
This six hole flute features a 1″ inch bore crafted from Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar. It is tuned to the Key of D#. It features the Four Winds tuning holes and by most standard this is a large flute. Although I think it is the perfect size as its new owner like me is a large man and should have no trouble playing it.
The theme for the pipe was that of the Eagle and so too we carried the same theme through to the flute by adding a fetish that represents a whimsical vision of the Eagle in flight. The fetish sits between two rails crafted from a special wood called Sapodilla. This reclaimed wood has much the same color tones as the pipestone.
One of the interesting twists in all of this is that the Tree of Peace Unity Walk will start it’s journey on a sacred mountain on Vancouver
Island. The very same place the Alaskan Yellow Cedar used in this flute was harvested from several years ago.
It is always an honor when I have the opportunity to be commissioned for a project. I am always humbled that there are those who find my style of art pleasing. But it is especially humbling when I am given the opportunity to create something as special as these two projects for the First Nations People of Canada and know that they will be used in Ceremony and not used as a cliché…
It is always an honor when someone reaches out to me for a special project they have in mind. This flute was no exception. This piece was commissioned by a gentleman in Scottsdale Arizona who had a vision for a flute he wanted. Originally this project was to have a Bison theme to it but soon after we started construction there was a change request which we agreed to as it seem to make perfect sense.
This 6 hole flute is hand crafted from Old Growth Black Walnut and features Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar Fetish rails. The Eagle fetish is crafted from both Black Walnut and the bird itself is from Maple. As with every flute I build specifically for someone I look for the story behind the project. In this case this buyers story fit the end product we will finally deliver this week.
The genesis for this flute started back in the mid 1850’s when pioneers heading west brought with them Walnut trees to be planted around their farm houses and barns.
“Wow! That is a masterpiece, a master who is in touch with the spirit of the material. One who is truly connected to the elements of Mother Earth. It has been an honor to know you and your work. The Great Spirit, the Creator has gifted you. ”
The walnut this flute came from was harvested from trees planted just west of Boulder Colorado and as best we can tell the tree was planted around 1850 or so.
The Alaskan Yellow Cedar used for the rails comes from Old Growth trees cut from Vancouver Island that are at least hundreds of years old and the Maple also came from the Boulder Colorado area. So this lumber has traveled another 500 miles north to my shop here along the Snake River here in Jackson Wyoming. Then one last journey of 900 miles to its new home in Scottsdale Arizona.
The Eagle Theme was something I had not really done previously and when Jim shared with me other eagle fetish designs he had seen and liked I knew I would need to find a fetish that fits within my whimsical fetish designs and its coming marriage to this flute. I did not want this to be in any way a representation of someone elses work.
Because I live along the Snake River there are many Bald Eagle nests around my home and while on my afternoon walks I would watch the males fishing from above. This fetish is my representation of watching these magnificent birds dive for fish along the river and this is where the idea for this particular bird came from.
I wanted to inlay a stone into this flute so I selected a piece of polished Idaho Picture Jasper and set it in a silver bezel which I inlaid into the body of the flute. I really liked the colors in this stone as it really seems to match the colors found in both the flute, the leather and the stands. Although this is a time-consuming value add I really like how it came out and this stone seemed to be right at home once it was set. All of
the leather accents are from hand selected Bison hides matching the
colors in the stone perfectly.
One really cool feature is the way the feathers (replicas) are hung from the flute body. In stead of using trade cloth and sinew to wrap the upper portion of the leather straps I hand crafted a stone bead crafted from a piece of Catlinite (Sacred Pipestone) and it acts kind of like a bolo tie which makes it easy to adjust and even remove the feathers if desired. Another time-consuming value add but well worth the effort as it really makes or a clean presentation.
The stands came right out of the forest behind my home here in Wyoming. I guess you could say they are truly repurposed tree branches. Anyway I wanted to make something simple, yet functional and look good too. Finally I added a hand crafted Bison leather case for the flute to be carried or stored in. Hand crafted by Leah Burgess from Riversong Leather Studios out of Laramie Wyoming. This is a beautiful work of art all in its own right.
Once the flute was complete and ready to be delivered I added the final accents of leather braid and beads. The beads that hang from the braid are a combination of Sterling Silver and Glass Crow beads. We added a 4th hole leather cover that can be used as is or removed. All in all a very nice project that I am very proud of ! Oh… and it plays nice and sounds good. Listen to the clip below…
Future Commissions are available for those interested in a project of their own so reach out to me with questions at “email@example.com” … I would love to make one for you.
Today I added updates on 3 new flutes that have been started. View new pictures to our Under Construction Page. One is a Commissioned piece and the other two are currently available. There is time to add custom touches to them if you are interested. For those interested in following what I am up to our Under Construction page is a good place to check out. Everything you find on this page that is not available can be commissioned. Check out the latest update and follow the journey of one of my newly Commissioned Art pieces…
Today I added new pictures to our Under Construction Page. If you are interested in following what I am up to this is a good place to check out. Everything you find on this page that is not available can be commissioned. Check out the latest update and follow the journey of one of my Commissioned Art pieces seen above…
We just added a new sound clip to this recently completed Alaskan Yellow Cedar Raven Themed flute. This flute was completed for a customer recently and we wanted you to be able to hear how beautiful of a voice Alaskan Yellow Cedar can deliver.
This flute is now available for a new home… Click Here to visit this flute on our website. Also available for Commission – I can build one similar on a Commission Basis. I really like this flute but we can make it your own by adding your vision to the project. Let me hear from you if you like how it sounds … or not…
Listen to Sound Sample from this flute
This flute design is available for Commission so if you have interest please reach out to me at “firstname.lastname@example.org” or call (307) 690-0427.