Many years ago I embarked on a journey to jury for a show that has been long recognized as the Premier Art Show for Western FUNCTIONAL Art! The Western Design Conference brings emphasis on the WESTERN and FUNCTIONAL side of art. Held each Fall in Jackson Hole Wyoming the WDC is a kick off to the Fall Arts Festival also held each year in the town of Jackson. Some of the finest artisans and craftsman travel from all corners of the United States to show off their best functional art.
In the past I have been honored with not only first place awards within my art category but I have also been honored with the coveted Sunny Tutle Award which is an award that represents an authentic Native/Western theme. Art collectors, enthusiasts, designers, and every day people come from all over to experience this show looking for something special. Each year I can attest to the amazing quality of the art presented.
For several years I have entered this show each time with an art piece that was influenced by our history here in Wyoming. I have presented many different flute designs as each one of my entries is a fully functional flute ready to play at any time. These past entries had a very strong Native American influence consistent with our First Nations People’s history. For me these influences came mostly from the Plains history of which Wyoming is part of and each time I tried to present an authentic representation of what we now know as the Native American flute.
This years entry was a hard one for me as I thought initially I would step outside my flute building craft and maybe try something new. But after weeks of agonizing thought I decided to create a piece consistent with what I have become known for and yet still step outside the box I have been so accustom to being part of… which is to say keeping it old school.
This years entry is the first flute that I have painted and then lacquered to a high gloss. This years art piece represents a marriage of the old and the new. My goal was to seek and find Simple Elegance all the while bringing honor to this great two chambered wind instrument. The contemporary side of this piece represents all that is new with both the journey the Native American Styled flute has traveled, the history of it’s origins and what is new in American life on our reservations. I hope it brings a smile to your face!
Crafted from a single piece of Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar this 1 inch bore flute is tuned to the key of E @ 432Hz. Painted black on both the inside and outside this flute was finally finished with 30+ coats of hand applied high gloss lacquer. The Totem rails and the totem are hand crafted from an piece of Old Growth Maple harvested in Colorado. The totem or fetish theme is the powerful Mustang.
Set into the body of the flute is a hand cut cabochon of Elk Antler harvested right here in Wyoming. The elk antler is bezel set in Sterling Silver and then inlaid into the flute body. All leather accents are from hand cut Elk hides and the beading is both black and red Crow Glass Beads separated by sterling silver beads.
The stand is hand crafted from American Black Walnut and also painted in the same way as the flute body. The only difference is that the stand has a semi-gloss finish. The red cloth you see is a traditional red trade cloth color. Both flute and stand are available for purchase at the show and beyond. If you are interested in this one of a kind Jackson Hole Tim original reach out to me through email or phone. This piece is also available for commission and you can set the color theme.
Just completed are our new business cards and collateral rack cards. After creating a new business card with a new theme and changing it many times I have settled on final design. Although these images do not do these new collateral advertising pieces they came out great. I wanted to capture the some of the flavor that Wyoming and the Yellowstone Basin delivers. Wyoming simply offers some of the best eye candy God ever laid his artful hand on.
If you would like one of my business cards sent to you or some of our collateral rack cards for your store or gallery let me know. I want to share with the world what I see every day living here. I want to share “Authentic Wyoming” with you! Contact me by email “Sales@Jacksonholetim” or call me (307) 690-0427.
I have been building flutes for a very long time… Living in a place like Wyoming brings a never ending stream of inspiration to draw from. Like my passion for photography I share an equal passion for building Native American Style flutes. I have spent many an hour working on commissioned base flutes trying to deliver an end product that hopefully meets or exceeds the buyer of my art. I fully enjoy the commissioned project experience but I just can’t stop wanting to build more.
As I approach my 58th birthday this year I find myself once again seeking a change in what I do. Many who know me know that for the past 33 years I have been a health insurance broker with focus on the International Expat markets. This will continue to be part of my daily efforts but as for my website Jackson Hole Tim I want to be more proactive in my flute building efforts. Crafting one of these awesome wind instruments never get tiring. Although I have enjoyed the commission side of building flutes I prefer designing the flute, building it and then sharing it with others.
I am pretty sure that I maintain the largest selection of Native American Style flutes here in the state of Wyoming. Every one of my flutes is hand made by me using mostly hand tools. That is just the way I do it. My inventories are finally starting to grow for the first time in a while. If you were to visit my farm gallery here in Afton Wyoming you would find a minimum 25+ flutes in various stages of the build with more on the way. I have over 100 blanks pre-cut and gluing up new ones weekly. By end of summer I may have as many as 40 or more to choose from.
One of the nice things about how I build my flutes is that I work on many at a time so each one is in a different phase some from the glue the up stage to being a fully completed flute. Having a variety in different phases of construction allows you to pick one that stands out to you that may not be completely finished and this allows for my to still add some of you to the flute before delivery. My shop is now in Afton Wyoming and our little ranch is open to those who want to venture out and visit us. We are just a mile or so off of the main highway (HWY 89) and we very easy to find. Although we are home most of the time we do travel from time to time so call first. But feel free to stop by and check out the flutes I have available. We are open 9-5 Monday through Friday so reach out to me and stop by… I would love to meet you.
Many Years ago I received a call from a gentleman who had seen one of my flutes offered Online for Sale. This gentleman had been looking at a new flute I had recently completed. What was interesting about this flute was it was one of the first flutes I had made where I tuned it using the 432Hz frequency. My son who is an accomplished musician had made the suggestion that tuning a flute at 432Hz might be interesting to craft and see if people could tell the difference. That is for another post but we found plenty of evidence that people in many cases without knowing will choose a flute tuned to 432 Hz verses the standard 440Hz without knowing the specifics.
In addition my wife who is a fairly spiritual being had asked that I add a series of cabochons to this flute. She had selected seven stones from a recent stone buying trip and the colors of these represented the colors of the Human Chakra. Being a flute builder I am always looking for new ideas to introduce with my flutes so I thought why not. This particular flute was crafted from an old piece of Black Walnut that has been harvested on the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder Colorado. What is cool about many of these old beasts is that these giant walnut trees were planted over 160 years ago by settlers making their way west on what today is known as the Oregon Trail. People brought these trees in small pots to plant near their farm houses and such for the shade they produced as well as their fruit they bare.
So I built this flute, added the cabochons and tuned it to a D# as it was a 1 inch bored flute and we called it our first Chakra Flute. Truthfully I had no idea how this flute would be received but it turned out really nice, and actually it was fairly simple in design. It played really well, sounded good and for the most part looked the part.
Back to this gentleman I mentioned earlier. I honestly do not remember his name, only the story behind this post. We spoke over the phone many times as I remember and I was pretty sure he had settled on this flute for himself. He was an older gentleman… that is to say is was in his early 60’s. He had recently discovered the Native American Style Flute and something grabbed him and he told me that he was hooked. This was to be his first flute purchase and I was honored to be his first flute builder. Then all of a sudden I stopped hearing from him.
This Story Comes To Life Recently
Now this first part of the story happened more than 6 or so years ago. To be truthful I had forgotten about this story for some time which is weird in that it really is a story that needs to be told. So about two weeks ago we had a visit from one of our dear friends who was our neighbor in Jackson Hole for several years and she had relocated to Boise Idaho a few years ago. Her son was on a trip back east and the people he was traveling in was from Star Valley Wyoming so when she came to pick him up she spent an evening with us reminiscing. Somewhere in the evening she began talking about all of the flutes I had on my walls throughout my home. She now works in the area of neuroscience and somehow we landed on this story about this Chakra flute.
A Stroke of Bad Luck!
One of the things we had been chatting about is how so many people come to the flute for so many different reasons and that there are so many stories out there about inner healing that the music somehow brings to so many people. I had been telling her about some really interesting stories about a woman named Mary who I have built many flute for and how she uses the Native flute to bring healing to those who are struggling in many facets of their lives. After sharing this story with Carol she encouraged me to share it with others as there may be a blessing in disguise in my discoveries.
Somewhere during the conversation I remembered the story about this Chakra flute and I began the share it with her. As I mentioned above I thought this gentleman whom had contacted me some time ago about this particular flute was going to purchase it but yet disappeared. So back to this story… after several weeks had gone by I received a call from this guys wife and she wanted to know if this Chakra flute was still available and I said yes it was. She shared with me who she was and that her husband whom I had been talking with had recently had a stroke in the past couple of weeks. I was mortified… I truthfully did not know what to say to her.
She wanted to try to bring some joy to his day and she knew how much he liked this flute so she decided to purchase it for him as a gift. She told me she was a bit concerned about giving it to him as she did not know if he could even hold it yet alone play it. Again I had no words other than to be as encouraging as I could. She paid for it and I shipped it the next day. I hoped that in some small way it would bring some joy to this man not knowing the impact it would have… in the short-term anyway.
Weeks went by and life was back to normal for me as I had not heard a word from her about the flute. I assumed it was received ok and I know that FEDEX did their part to deliver it in a timely manner. Then one day several weeks later I received a call from his wife again. She shared with me that she delivered the flute to him and that when she did his eyes lit up and his face was adorned with a big smile. Over several days he apparently played with the flute for hours each day. He even began to play the flute and produced some fairly pleasant music I am told. In fact there were times when hospital staff and other patients lined his doorway as he played away.
The Miracle of the Flute
This is the part that brings such joy to my heart in that I created and voiced this flute without knowing the journey it would take. This man’s wife shared with me that one of the huge challenges for her husband was the loss of his dexterity in his one hand that the stroke clobbered. She told me that each and every day he was gaining back dexterity in his hand and fingers as he continued to play the flute. In fact I was told that he was looking forward to giving concerts to those who would listen. Somehow this flute found its way to a man truly in need and by its very nature it helped this man with the healing process. Something I would have never thought of had I not heard the story.
More time went by and I believe I heard from her one more time about the progress he had been making. He was about to go home and she thanked me for this musical gift. I was humbled yet pleased that in some small way I was able to take part in this journey. I never heard from her or him again so I truthfully have no idea how this all ended up for their family. I can only hope and pray that in the end this Chakra Flute crafted from a piece of old growth Black Walnut brought some peace and healing to him and their family.
Another Phone Call Brings Me to My Keyboard
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post I have been encouraged by Carol to share this story with all of you. For various reasons I delayed sitting down and telling the story that needed to be told. No real good reason as to why but it has been on my mind daily since Carol shared her excitement about this journey. Segue to recent events in my life…
Over the past weeks I have been dealing with the end of life tribulation of an elderly father. So I have had plenty of excuses although none of them too compelling. Recently I received another phone call from an older gentleman that reached out to me as he was seeking a supply of Alaskan Yellow Cedar for his relief carvings. He shared with me over several phone calls that he is a relief carver and his carving are Native American influenced. I have never seen his work but I could feel his passion in our conversations for his art. He knew that I made Native American Style flutes many out of Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar. He had recently read a post of my about a flute I had made for Tony Duncan, Native American Flute Artist and saw that it was crafted from Alaskan Cedar so he called me.
Over several weeks he attempted to purchase from me a supply of cedar and because of my responsibilities to my father I just kept dropping the ball. We exchanged phone calls over several weeks and actually enjoyed each others conversation until finally there was a pause caused by me and as I got things calmed down enough to reach out to him again I was only able to reach his voicemail. Several days after my last message a week or so ago I get a call from his phone number by now which I recognized. Only it was his wife not Bob.
She shared with me that she had received my phone calls and proceeded to apologize for any delays in getting back to me. I assured her I was the one slacking not her. She then told me that Bob had had a stroke the week before. She was not sure about his prognosis but out of love for her husband wanted to make sure the Cedar was purchased and waiting for him hoping that his recovery would allow him to once again pick up his carving tools and maybe… just maybe the carving would be good for his recovery.
Immediately I told her about this post I have been needing to write about another customer of mine that had a stroke prior to purchasing a flute from me. I shared with her the story I am writing now and just the fact that the results were on the positive side of things for this man she told me that indeed this story brings hope to her in that maybe in much of the same way the carving of the wood could help her husband with his recovery and the use of his disable hand.
The story of this Chakra flute has now given hope and healing to two people directly, one because of its physical being and the second through the story of the flute itself. Maybe… just maybe there is a place for the Native American Style flute for those victims who have suffered strokes. I can only hope that there is and if so I want to be part of the solution. Peace to all who read this…
I have just placed an order for our “Wyoming Cowgirl and Her Horse” photo taken last summer at the Jackson Hole Polo Fields. This award winning photo will be available for shipping early next week. We have order this in a 16″ x 24″ format and it is being printed on Metal.
This photo embodies everything good about Wyoming, Horses and the young women that help make up this great state. We are blessed to live in a place that is… well simply beautiful in every way.
This image is available to be purchased and printed in a variety of paper, metal and acylic mounts. I have this image in my shop as it is truly one of my favorites. If you want to inquire about image prints please call (307) 690-0427 or complete the simple form below and I will get back to you.
Metal prints can be hung on your favorite wall as is or they can be placed in a custom frame. This image is also available as part of our 5×7 Greeting Card collection for $3.95 per card which will also be available starting next week.
Available for purchase now on Jacksonholetim.com.
Image is priced at $176.00 (metal print only) plus shipping.
We have just ordered our first series of Jackson Hole Tim gift cards. These cards will be 5×7 inches and come with a plain white envelope for mailing. The back of the cards have credits while the inside of the cards are blank. You write and share any message you desire. We have three new images for a total of 9 Greeting Card choices. All images were taken Timothy Jennings here in the Jackson and Western Wyoming area. They will be available shortly on our website right here for $3.95 per card plus shipping.
If you own a retail store and would like inquire about carrying some or all of our gift cards please contact Timothy Jennings by email “sales@jacksonholetim”. Wholesale pricing available.
The flute continues to take its path to final form. Here is an updated picture during the finishing stages of this flute. Here you can see how the Maple rails and totem look against the jet black finish. The Elk Antler Cabochon is about done and ready to set into the flute body. This flute in person is beautiful.
The fetish design selected is my Mustang Themed fetish. Hand carved from a solid piece of old growth maple this fetish will be finished with a clear lacquer to preserve the natural beauty of the wood. The flute body is now in it’s finishing stages. The body is Jet Gloss Black with a hand crafted Elk Antler Cabochon set in Sterling Silver. I am still working on the bezel but will post pics shortly.
Flute takes shape. Tuning holes are marked and ready to give voice. I am going to voice the flute and find the fundamental note, tune it and then start the finishing process. So far this is turning out to be a very nice flute.
All glued up and tuning holes and the Four Winds tuning holes are marked. This will be a E at 432 Hz as I see it now. This is the ugly stage of the flute process. From here the birth of this flute will truly begin. So many point to cover but watch for the next update to see how this Western Design Conference entry progresses. Here you can see the beginnings of the Maple Totem/Fetish rails. Soon they will take shape and add to the overall elegance this flute will display. UPDATE: 06/23/2018
I have just completed the cutting and finishing of the Windway and the inside of the flute bore. Ready for Glue Up and later today we will start with the addition of the Totem Rails. Because this project is slated for a complete GLOSS BLACK finish it was important to make sure the inside was pre-treated as well. I have selected a very nice piece of American Maple from which these rails will be made from. They will be natural in their finish and should really accent the black coloring. I am excited to get the rails on and start the shaping process. This should be an exceptionally beautiful flute when done… a bit outside my traditional crafting but then that is what makes it fun!
I 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.
Black Walnut Drone flute enters finishing stage. This flute has gone through a long journey and it should be completed in the coming week or so. This Drone flute features 1″ inch bores and had been tuned to D @444Hz per request of a previous interested party. This flute will be included in our farm gallery inventory when complete.
The fetish has been hand carved from a single piece of Black Walnut and features an arrowhead theme. Leather for the fetish will be hand cut bison lace – probably in a dark brown color. There are no additional accents at this time on this flute other than the hand carving seen here on the top of the flute. The bottom of the drone is smooth across the entire bottom. There is a subtle elevation separation at the mouth piece that should help ones ability to play one side or the other or both.
This flute is to be finished with a high gloss lacquer that should really make it pop. The walnut coloring is pretty much a traditional walnut look and feel and although a drone it is fairly comfortable in your hands. A recording should be available shortly of how this drone sounds and plays. The entire construction of this flute was done by me by hand.
Available for purchase:
This flute is available for purchase at this time. Current plans are for a high gloss lacquer finish. There is still time to add any additional accents, select the finish for this flute, add feather or horse hair accents, add stones for a higher price point PRE-COMPLETION PRICE: $895 PLUS $16.95 Shipping (lower 48 states). NO additional accents. To add additional accents please contact me for pricing. DEPOSIT REQUIRED for changes.
Call to purchase this Black Walnut Drone flute (307) 690-0427 or email me. This flute is Available for Custom Order – email “firstname.lastname@example.org”
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.
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.