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…
When I receive a commission for a custom pipe I always save just about every piece of pipestone from each pipe as I can always find uses for the remnants. This pipe was crafted from just that – remnants of stone from a previous commission. I personally like small pipes as they are easier to handle and when you want to have a smoke by the fire these are a great choice.
This pipe is actually a midsize personal pipe according to my way of thinking. The pipestone in this pipe shares a two-tone coloring with a real deep traditional pipestone red on the left side of the pipe and a lighter pinkish red on the right side of the pipe. There is a teepee effigy towards the back of the pipe and the left front side has an eagle’s head totem while the right side is a set of feathers.
The detail in this pipe is not as high as in commission pipes (seen eft) such as the eagle pipe I recently finished. But this is a pretty cool little pipe. The overall length of this pipe with stem is 21″ inches long and the stone itself is 4 3/4″ long. The tobacco bowl is 1/2″ in diameter and the depth of the bowl 1 5/8″ deep. If you are looking for a personal pipe that you can smoke with friends this would be a good choice.
This pipe is prices at $165.00 and it ships with a protective bag. Shipping on this pipe should be less than $10.00 depending on your zip code. If you are interested in this pipe or you have questions please reach out to me at “email@example.com“.
The “Nakota” Souix (pronounced nah-KO-tah ) is the tribe’s name for themselves and may mean“friends” or “allies.” It comes from the Yankton word, Nakhota, sometimes translated as “alliance of friends.” another meaning for the name is “those who consider themselves kindred.”
Once I had accepted this commission which was and is a great honor, I knew I had an important task set before me. As I pondered the path I would take to craft the sacred pipe that was to be an Eagle pipe I for some reason decided to start two pipes at the same time, one of which is the pipe you see before you here and the other at the top of this post. It was made very clear to me the importance of the commission I was about to undertake and the very next day I started on the journey with great passion – a journey that would end with two pipes.
The most important task was to complete the Tree of Unity Peace Walk pipe then I could focus on the second pipe to follow which I am calling “Anukasa and the Range – Nakhota, Alliance of Friends”. This eagle pipe will be seen by thousands of people at the upcoming Western Design Conference to be held this weekend here in Jackson Hole Wyoming. I am hoping to share a small glimpse into the world of the Sacred Pipe by way of display.
As many of you know I live in Jackson Hole Wyoming, home of the Teton Mountain Range, known worldwide. This powerful mountain range rises above the Teton Valley and it is the Southern Gateway into the Yellowstone Basin. Les Trois Tetons it is believed was the name given to the mountain range by the Iroquois or French Canadian trappers in the very early 1800’s. Since then these majestic peaks have been called by many names.
It is a very rare event that I trek north of Jackson Hole when I do not see one or more Bald Eagles soaring around the valley and into the base of these mountains. When you see the majesty of these magnificent birds and how they interact with Mother Earth and her ranges it is clear there is an Alliance of Friends or another way of saying it is Nakota or Nakhota which are names used to describe today’s Assiniboine First Nations People.
So why use this translation and not something else? Well truth be told all of the Sacred Pipestone I receive comes from a single family who are Assiniboine descendants and they live on the Assiniboine Reservations located in Northeastern Montana. Donovan Archambault is my Assiniboine Elder Mentor, a Master Pipe Maker in his own right. Each summer Donovan and younger parts of his family travel back to their ancestral region in Minnesota to hand quarry the sacred stone from Mother Earth. It is then hauled back from Minnesota to Montana where I gather stone that was hand quarried and allotted for me.
So it is in this spirit that I use the Name of the Nakota people and their indigenous language translation for the name “Eagle”. When you see these powerful and very sacred birds interact with the nature that surrounds us here in the Yellowstone Basin you can certainly grasp the Alliance that must take place between their very nature and Mother Earth in order for them to survive.
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…
I always enjoy the opportunity to create something unique for a client. Kirk’s love for the pipe goes back to his childhood when his dad would work in their garage and smoke a pipe while he pondered his next move on whatever project he was tackling. Kirk wanted a simple yet functional Native Styled Pipe for his collection and personal use.
Although this was not a fancy pipe it is a perfect size for personal use. This personal pipe was crafted for Kirk who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. The pipestone I used for this personal pipe was actually the remnants from another eagle pipe I made a couple of years ago. I throw nothing out from the sacred pipestone and try to use as much of it as I can.
“I am writing to let you know how pleased I am with the Native American pipe you crafted. I provided no input of my expectations and am thrilled with the interpretation, design and workmanship of the pipe you created.
The wood working is perfect and pipe stone carving of the tee pee and feathers is spiritual and, to me, soulful. It is truly a work of art, but functions well as a working pipe. It draws well, has no problem staying lit and is a pleasure to smoke. When not being used, it is proudly displayed in a cabinet in my den, where it receives a lot of attention and compliments.
Thank you again.”
Exec. Vice President /Principal
Daum Commercial Real Estate Services
The pipe had carved into the long part of the stone 2 feathers, one on each side. An eagles head on one side and a representation of a tepee on the other. The pipestem was crafted from Old Growth Black Walnut that I gathered from the Eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountain outside of Boulder Colorado.
The stem was decorated with hand cut bison hide lace, crow glass beads and an owl feather (replica) wrapped in traditional trade cloth and sinu. Over all this was a very cool little pipe and as I understand it the Kirk smokes it (tobacco only) twice each year on two special days that have meaning for the family.
I was honored that Kirk had come to me for this project. Kirk is a lifetime friend of mine and that made this commission even more special. He is one of the finest people I have ever known and I look forward to a time when we can smoke it together.
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 “firstname.lastname@example.org” … I would love to make one for you.
Each Fall here in Jackson Hole a Conference is held that is one of the elite places for Functional Art to be displayed, sold and judged. The Western Design Conference is the premier place for artists like myself to showcase their best art. This fall I will be entering one of my pieces to be juried and judged by the best of the best.
I have chosen the theme for my entry and I want to share with you my journey over the next few months. This years entry will consist of two art pieces incorporated into a single entry. This year I will enter a pipe and a flute with a common theme running through the whole piece. Below is a drawing I have made for the pipe that I will start today. The flute will also be started this weekend and this will be one of the toughest projects I will undertake.
Each art piece will have a custom-made bison leather case that will in their own right be beautiful components of the whole project. This Art project is available for purchase. Delivery will not be available until after the Western Design Conference has completed in early September. If you have interest in this project for your home or business reach out to me at “email@example.com”. Follow me on this journey and see how it goes…
Although I have used my spare time for many years to build and create what I call Plains Influenced Art there just never seems to be enough time to accomplish all that I create in my head. Many who know me know that my primary career is that of an International Health Insurance Broker. It is in the down time from this career that I have endeavored to create my Art over the years.
Several times during the past years I have found myself engulfed in supplying others with the parts to make Native American Styled Flutes and other specialty lumbers. I love doing this and I love helping others but I do find myself short of time to do what it is I really want to do and that is to do my own art. That art now consists of crafting Flutes, Jewelry, Native Pipes and one of my first loves Photography.
Couple all this with having a family and three wonderful children I now find that I have NO time for myself. I want to re-focus my extra time to my art. JacksonHoleTim.com will now become the primary place where I will showcase my art. Hopefully I now will find time to finish so many of the projects that I want to craft and new ideas can percolate and come to fruition. I will continue to support the flute making world as best I can so please feel free to call upon me with any questions and should you need supplies check out what I have to offer on JacksonHoleTim.com.
The commissioned art pieces that I have worked on or I am currently working on give me the freedom to take some of my ideas and bring them to life for those who really like my work. There is nothing more satisfying than working with a customers vision and being able to hit the mark. Hopefully JacksonHoleTim.com will be the place where I can share with all of you what I have accomplished and a place to showcase the new. Please come back and visit as share with me some of the art I hope to bring to life for others.