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.
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.
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.
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 “firstname.lastname@example.org”. 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…
All things change and yet nothing remains the same… for the most part anyway. For the past 15 years I have been on a roller coaster journey with my career with so many changes to our industry and none of it has been within my control. For more than 32 years my primary occupation has been that of a full time International Health Insurance Broker and I still actively work at this daily. The last 15 years of my career I have also worked as a commissioned artist in my spare time working mostly in the medium of wooden Native American Style Flutes. In addition I also work in the medium of stone crafting mostly pipes. Catlinite (pipestone) is a wonderful medium to work in and it provides a powerful source of energy for me.
Over the past several years I have had the pleasure to craft some really wonderful projects for many different clients. Some flutes and some pipes and some projects that combined both the flute and the pipestone into a single project. For many of these years I have been a primary source for flute builders both new to the flute and professionals alike and I have supplied thousands of flute blanks both pre-bored and simple stock ready to bore. I have even provided much needed knowledge to those who seek it. There have been times over the past several years where my day job and my passion for the Native American Flute simply create a conflict. Each demands your time and attention.
As I approach my 58th birthday this December I reflect on that which has actually brought me peace and joy over my lifetime. For sure my family sits on top of this list. My career of 32 years as a broker also sits on that list. But building Native American styled flutes of all types has and is definitely a highlight and sharing the real healing power of the flute is a big part of it. As we all grow through our lives and reflect on what it is we do on a daily basis I think we all must come to a place where the passion for what you have been doing starts to disappear. For me this is true and I have reached this place and now I hope and want to focus more on the things that bring me satisfaction with my daily endeavors.
Our family recently made the decision to move a little south of Jackson Hole to the Star Valley part of Wyoming. For many reasons but in short we wanted more land for our horses, more room for my shop and we want to be a little more accessible to those who may be visiting our region in the coming years. In the next few weeks we will be moving to our new home and it is here in Star Valley where I plan to focus further on my craft. This past summer we had a very small shop that allowed some people to visit but the need to grow and expand made it clear we needed to find another place to call home. Within the next few months I plan to open a new shop that will be located on our property that will include a very nice showroom. One goal is to have probably the largest selection of Native American Style flutes along with parts and supplies within the state of Wyoming. You will be able to come visit, shop and take home your new found treasure. In addition our shop will feature some of my photography centered on the Yellowstone Basin and everything on the walls will be available for sale.
For those of you who have followed me through the years you know I have attempted this more than once. The desire to share my art with others has never been more present than it is now. After speaking with several of the galleries in the Jackson area and talking to other artists it eventually became clear that the path for me had to my own showroom/shop. So with this in mind please subscribe to our blog and follow me as we set these new goals and open our doors starting this winter. I have had several people ask if our showroom will be open for the 2018 summer and the answer is YES it will. If you have plans to travel to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone or any part of this are we will be easy to find and worth the trip to our shop. If you will travel from the Salt Lake City basin then you will drive right past our place. Watch for future post and hopefully many new creations will be ready for the new season soon to kick off.
Building your own flute is a journey within reach for everyone who has the ability to use their hands. The Native American Flute is one of the most pleasant-sounding wind instruments to play and one that anyone who has the interest and desire to play can learn. Building your own flute whether it be for personal satisfaction or because you want to build them and sell them to the public is truly a satisfying endeavor. Not everyone one has the space, time or money to have a workshop that allows you to create the supplies you will need to build your own flute.
“Several years ago I slowly became a resource for flute builders all over the country. Before I realized what had happened I was in the lumber business and every day I got further away from what it was I loved to do – Build Native American Style Flutes. So last year I finally said “enough” I had lost my way! The journey I was on was no longer the one I started out with. I had to get back to the flute! Today I am back at it and I am still here willing to help those seeking a spiritual path to building your own flute. There is nothing quite like it!”
Artist Timothy Jennings has worked for many years providing flute makers all over the country with some of the best quality old growth specialty wood flute blanks to help you complete your flute project. Most of the wood Tim uses is indigenous to North America, with very few exceptions. All the leather accents he uses to craft his flutes come from hand selected Buffalo and Elk hides and this same material is available for purchase on this website. Save yourself some time, money, and space by ordering from Tim Jennings @ JacksonHoleTim.com you may just find just what you need for your next flute project.
Should you be traveling through Jackson Hole this summer or next please come visit me in my Studio Gallery. We are easy to find as we are just south of the town of Jackson Hole located in Star Valley area. If you are looking for a pleasant afternoon and you want to explore something outside of Jackson Hole then take the journey south and view our art.
Please come spend a part of your day with Tim. This fall, 2017 we are moving to Afton Wyoming which is just about one hour south of the town of Jackson Hole. Take as much time as you need to explore the many finished flutes we will have. Enjoy a beverage complimentary on us. In addition to Flutes some of Tim’s jewelry and local photography will be on display. We can also ship any purchase to your home or business so you don’t have to take it with you.
Artist In Resident
This past summer we tried to secure a location within the town of Jackson as the Artist in Resident. Beginning in 2018 Tim will be the Artist In Resident at our home gallery which will be open to the public. Come visit with Tim and watch how some of his art is actually crafted by hand. Everything will be available for purchase.
The Largest Selection of Flutes in Wyoming
Come see my collection of hand crafted award-winning Native American Styled Flutes here at our Studio Gallery on your next visit to Jackson Hole. The entire selection of Native American Styled flutes are crafted by local award-winning artist Timothy Jennings. We have fully completed flutes, flutes ready for final production (Available to customize), Flute Making Supplies and we will be taking commissions for the winter of 2017 – 2018.
How do you get here?
We will be posting complete instructions on how to get to our property as we get closer to November 1st. We will post a video that will give you a taste of what you can expect to see on your journey.
If you are interested please contact me via phone @ (307) 690-0427 or email me @ email@example.com. Feel free to leave a comment to this post if this interests you… I would love to see you…
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.
“I am amazed and grateful for the experience of working with Tim Jennings to create a flute for me. He is quite the flute maker master! His attention to details adds a unique dimension to his flutes – the clarity of sound is amazing. The hand of flute makes it feel alive. And Tim is easy to work with, and truly listens and responds to the customer’s needs. He keeps the customer up to date every step of the way.”
Cave Creek, Arizona
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…
Now available on Jacksonholetim.com is our live Chat Feature. Located on the right side of each web and blog page is an Orange Circle like the one in the picture above. If you have questions simply click and ask away. If I am Online you will know it and I will do my best to answer any and all questions. If I am off-line then an email message will reach me and I will respond accordingly. I hope this Chat Feature will help you in your search for the right flute, flute supplies or photographic image.
One of the most enjoyable things I am able to do where I live is to walk out my front door and I can find so many wonderful things to take pictures of. The Yellowstone Basin is truly one of the most beautiful parts of the United States and photographic opportunities are simply everywhere.
As I have achieved a higher level of skill for this craft so too has my desire to keep up with the latest camera technology. Today’s DSLRs are simply amazing. The quality of the image taken is almost as real life as viewing it through your own eyes. I have been waiting for some new camera introductions later this year but my older Nikon was crying for help. So I decided to pull the trigger and new camera now and then watch for future releases.
I settled on the new D500 which if you look into it is simply amazing at the depth of capabilities built into this new body. With a burst rate of up to 10 FPS (Frames Per Second), 151 focal points, 4000K video and more I can’t wait to try it out in the wild. I am sure I will be sharing some new stuff real soon. I am currently awaiting an order of new Gallery Quality Acrylic Mounts that are being added to this website for sale as I write this. Acrylic Mounting is nothing short of amazing!
For several years I wrote a blog post almost daily and I called it “Morning Coffee”. I had so many people tell me how much they enjoyed these post many of which can still be found on this website by clicking on the MENU LINK “BLOG” and then in the search field search “MORNING COFFEE” and a list will render for your reading pleasure.
This new camera is inspiring me to bring this back to all of you and I hope… no I am sure I can find some really cool things to share with all of you. If you have not already subscribed to my blog you can easily do so in the EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION area found in the upper left column of every page. Each time I post something new you will receive it in your Inbox. Please consider subscribing…
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…
I have started a new project which again is a very high honor for me to have been chosen as their pipemaker. I have received a new commission to build 7 pipes for 7 women who have been studying under Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle and Sandra Moon Dancer (Canadian First Nations People) for 4 years to as long as 9 years getting ready to become the pipe carriers for their respective clans.
“We are honoured to receive pipes from a master pipemaker, whose hands are guided by Spirit. It is with deep gratitude that we send this message.
Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle”
These woman have been studying the Mother Earth teachings that have been handed down for hundreds if not thousands of years by their ancestors. These seven woman will be honored in ceremony in 2017 with these pipes and take a very important role with their people.
I cannot emphasize enough how humbled and honoured I am to have been selected to complete this project. I am not Native but yet I have been selected for this sacred task and once again I will honor my commitment to the First Nations People of Canada to bring to them 7 pipes that will in turn bring honor to these woman and help them on their very important new journey that they will undertake early next year!