Funny how things work out. This Walnut Drone is a good example. Sometimes some things are just to be. When I started this flute I had a specific person in mind for whom I have built several flutes for. Originally I had started this flute for Mary in mind but as fate has it – it was not meant to be… at least initially. Some things changed in Mary’s world and this flute was just not going to end up in her home. I decided to continue to build it as if I would be building it for her and this was the end result.
Reluctantly I listed this Drone for sale on Jacksonholetim.com and from the very beginning it generated a lot of comments and interest. Recently I had a small flurry of offers for this flute but something inside just said no. Although the price point was already below what this flute should have been marketed at I was ok with it as long as it was able to claim a fair price and a good home. I had just turned down an offer on this flute when BAM it sold.
I woke up to an alert on my phone and I could see that there was an order for the Drone. When looked at the order and saw who had just purchased it, it made my heart full. The very person who this flute must have been destined to be and in my opinion just the right person. I shipped it off to Mary with a day or so and woke up this morning to this testimonial below. What can I say but simply that I am humbled…
So just one more “long” comment after spending major time with the new addition to my flute family…it takes a lot to leave me in so much amazement that I am speechless, yet that is how I felt sitting there with this flute. I am looking at all the details, the wood, the finish, the smoothness and trying to wrap my mind around how anybody could create something so visually perfect and at the same time with such a musical voice. One time you commented that maybe someday you would make me the perfect flute…I think the mission was accomplished. The more I play it and it gets it’s true voice, the more it sounds almost like a set of bagpipes and my daughter said that when she hears it she sees wide open spaces like you would find in Ireland or Scotland. Other times when played more softly the harmony is so smooth that it flows like fine silk. Each flute has it’s own mystery component and the details of this flute were absolutely divinely inspired in more ways than I can explain. While trying to wrap my mind around the “true” value of this instrument. I can only say that it couldn’t possibly have a price point that would match that value. These are the kinds of instruments you were meant to build, the priceless kind, that people will stand back in amazement and awe that they get to enjoy something so special. In our carbon copy world of commerce very few people get to sit in the presence of such incredible value. Hopefully these comments will stay with you as you continue to fellowship in the carpentry shop with the King of Carpenters! This morning I am celebrating the talent and excellence that make you the artist that you are and praying that only those who will truly appreciate your gifts get to enjoy them. Also praying that finances in abundance, come from unusual sources, to free you to create for this audience. Feel free to post all or part of this glowing recommendation on your blog…LOL! I am not a women of few words when she has something to say!
Mary Blakeley, Athol Idaho
Play Sample of Black Walnut Drone Flute Here:
There is nothing more satisfying to know that you hit the mark for a client. Mary is a special lady and she trusts me implicitly and always gives me complete artistic freedom. What more can I ask for. Finally this might all sound like I am bragging a bit and to be truthful I actually am!
Recently I sold this Walnut flute to a new client who lives in Bergamo Italy. I always am humbled when someone likes one of my flutes enough to spend their hard earned money on one. This flute shares a special journey that has touched my heart and one that I would like to share with all of you. This particular flute I have liked from the minute I started to shape it. Not really sure why but it was one of my favorites that I made this year. It sounds great and looks good to boot.
Over a period of several weeks I have exchanged emails with a man I now call my friend. Both before he purchased the flute and after the sale we both struggled though the translations that Google so graciously provided. Italian to English and English to Italian. It always surprises me when I meet people from other countries that have a love of our Native American Heritage that is truly part of who we are as Americans and even more impressive to know they have taken the time learn so much about our past. Davide is one of those special people.
During the flute’s transit time from Wyoming to Bergamo he share with me his desire, no – his “dream” to play a Native American Style flute in a very special place that meant so much to his family. A place where he and his father would visit and spend time together and today it is the final resting place of his father. His dream as he shared with me was to find a day of solitude and take with him his new flute and play songs in honor of his father. Just he and the spirit of his father. By his descriptions in his previous emails I thought I had a pretty good vision of this place in my mind. Yet when I saw the pictures he sent to me of this day it did in some weird way seem familiar to me even though I knew it was a place thousands of miles away from Wyoming.
A few days ago I received a follow up email from Davide along with some images of his day spent in this very special place. He finally received his new flute he gathered some personal things together and picked a day to journey to this place. As you can see from these pictures it appears to be a cold day which he did confirm in his message to me. Aside from the cold and even colder hands he sat down and started to play.
It is times like these that confirm to me the healing properties of these very special wind instruments. Davide shared that it was very quite and still when he sat down to play. As he started to play his flute he noticed that there were a vibrations coming across the water and to him he imagined this to mean vibrations of joy. To be truthful I am not sure exactly how long he stayed in this place on this day but it was clear from his email to me that it met all of his dreams and expectation for this special occasion.
Although I do not have any recordings of this day I am sure the music Davide played hit the mark as witnessed by the vibrations upon the water. As a flute builder there is no better compliment than when a client shares a story like this with me. This is real and it is meaningful to all who have been part of this personal journey. My heart is full knowing that a flute that I have created with my hands right here in Wyoming has made such a long journey to a place that has brought in some small way a healing to another human being so far way.
We are offering this one of a kind hand lacquered jet black Alaskan Yellow Cedar flute tuned to E @ 432Hz at a big Holiday Discount. Inlaid bezel set elk antler cabochon and Maple Totem rails with signature Mustang totem crafted from Maple. Stand included. Ships with protective flute bag. This is an amazingly beautiful flute with simple yet elegant lines. USE COUPON CODE “NAFSHIP”AT CHECKOUT FOR FREE SHIPPING
UPDATE 11/29/2018 – Below is an updated image of the progress of this new flute. This flute is in its final stages of being finished. Totem is complete and also in the finishing stage. This flute is available for purchase now. Contact Tim Jennings for more information @ Sales@Jacksonholetim.com.
Ready for Glue Up! Another painted flute inbound… This shot of the inside of the flute blanks prior to glue-up shows the Red that has been chosen for this new flute project. This flute will be very similar in design as the black one shown below. Difference will be this flute is a 7/8″ bore NOT a 1″ and it will not have an elk antler cabochon. But it will feature the same style rails and Mustang fetish. Plans for tuning are in the F# – G range at 440 or 432 Hz. Finish will be many coats of HIGH Gloss lacquer. Shout out if you like what you see.
Share thoughts if you dare… I will update as we go through the stages… Interested in this flute? Reach out to me… Email me at “firstname.lastname@example.org” or phone (307) 690-0427
This is a really nice little six hole flute hand crafted from a piece of Russian Olive harvested from the Boulder Colorado region. Russian Olive is kind of tortured wood with virtually no straight branches. Getting a really nice flute blank from a slab of Russian Olive is no easy task. This flute blank although crafted from a matched blank set, it is not what I would consider a premier blank set simply because of few minor imperfections. Having said that I built this flute with idea of making it available at an entry-level price point.
This flute features a 7/8″ bore and it is tuned to G @ 440Hz. A really nice bright sounding voice and easy to play. Overall length is 22 7/8″ measured on top. The playing holes are laid out as follows: The bottom 3 hole are spaced at 1 1/8″ measure on center and the 3 top holes are spaced at 1 1/16″ on center with 1 1/4″ between the #3 and #4 holes. The blow-hole is a 3/8″ bore and is approximately 2 3/4″ in length leading into the Slow Air Chamber. The Stop Block area is approximately 1 1/4″ thick.
The Fetish is my Whimsical Bison also crafted from a piece of Russian Olive and it is attached to the flute with our hand cut Wyoming Brown Elk lace. The fetish sits on top of a 3/8″ wide Focusing Channel cut into the body of the flute. The finish is a Semi-Gloss lacquer finish and both inside and outside are finished in the same way. Overall this is a really nice little flute perfect for the backpack adventure or just playing at home.
I have set the price point to be affordable for those seeking their first flute and yet this is an amazing sounding flute in its own right. Tuned at 6400 foot elevation and voiced right here in the Teton Range of the Yellowstone Basin. Ships with its own protective bag.
Russian Olive Sound Clip
As always if you have questions reach out to me via email “email@example.com” or call/text (307) 690-0427.
Just about ready for glue up is this reclaimed piece of ASH that is from a very old hand hewn beam I picked up a few years ago. The sister to this flute can be seen here. This flute blank set has been bored with a 7/8″ bore and features a Iron Wood Cutting Edge inlay. Plans for this flute is for it to be an F# but there is still time to make a change if you are interested. This flute could be an F, F#, G or G# I am thinking. The fetish will be our whimsical otter fetish and attached with our hand-cut Wyoming Bison lace.
The aesthetic will be in very close to the image of this Port Orford Cedar flute shown here. Plans are to cut my signature step in front of the inlay but in this case there will extra length given to the windway area because of the length of the inlay. Finish although it can be changed prior to finishing is planned for a Semi-Gloss finish.
Finally being crafted from something as hard as reclaimed American Ash this should have a very bright voice. I personally like this type of sound… If you are interested please contact me via email “firstname.lastname@example.org” or call (307) 690-0427
This was a unique little flute that has now found a new home in Italy. This flute was actually made several years ago. It was completely hand crafted from Western Red Cedar and featured a black walnut inlay for the cutting edge. This flute WAS NOT bored with a plunge router but completely hand carved both inside components and outside. This 7/8″ bore flute is tuned to F# @ 440 Hz. A couple of other notes is that we inlaid 3 black onyx cabochons and it also feature the 4 winds tuning hole to add length to the flute.
The fetish on this flute is our otter design and it is crafted from a piece of American Cherry. Leather accent is hand cut Black Bison lace and there is a groove pre-cut around the body of the flute should you want to add another accents like a hanging feather or horse hair.
As with all of our flutes this flute was tuned at an altitude of 6,400 feet above sea level. Many time we will tune our flute to the flat side of the target note because of the higher altitude and severe difference in temperature and humidity. However this flute is spot on here in the Rockies. Taking this flute to lower altitudes and higher temperatures and humidity will affect the tuning a bit. But this flute should always be in tune with itself.
The inside of the flute was sealed like all of our flutes with many coats of lacquer and the outside of the flute is finished with more than 20+ very light coats of high gloss lacquer. This is simply a very nice flute. We are offering this flute at an entry level price as this would be a fabulous flute for the first time flute owner and yet one you will keep for many years.
Because it is made from Western Red Cedar it is important to note that it is very soft and susceptible to dents and dings. The cutting edge was inlaid with walnut for this very reason. Western Red Cedar produces a very soothing flute and this one is no exception. Sounds and plays great! This was a great entry level flute at a price point that was very affordable.
This nice little flute found a new home in Italy and is being delivered as I write this. I hope that the new owner finds that joy that these wind instruments are capable of bringing. It makes me smile to know that people in Italy appreciate our Native heritage and can find enjoyment in the flute.
Leaving the shop today is this simple but powerful five hole flute. Hand crafted from Port Orford Cedar with a Black Walnut cutting edge inlay. Features a 7/8″ bore tuned to G @ 440Hz, whimsical Otter fetish and hand-cut Bison lace, this little flute simply has a beautiful voice. I am excited for the new owner of this flute. Home will be in North Carolina. Check out how beautiful this flute sounds.
If you are interested in one or my Port Orford Cedar flutes reach out to me. Some are Online now while others are in the construction phase. Email email@example.com or call (307) 690-0427.
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.
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…