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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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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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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 New Chapter In Flute Building Begins…

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.

 

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Native American Style Flute Blanks For Sale…

timjennings_coronadoBuilding 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!”

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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.

Click Here for More Information About Flute Supplies…

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Studio Gallery to be Open Summer of 2017…

Come Visit Our Studio Gallery This Summer

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.

Wild Bison Herd Jackson Hole Wyoming

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 @ timjen333@gmail.com.  Feel free to leave a comment to this post if this interests you… I would love to see you…

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Port Orford Cedar Flute Commission Completed…

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.”

Claudia Cocco
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…

Listen to Sound Sample from this flute