Completed Pieces

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Completed Pieces
The Birth of a Flute

The following are a few of the flutes that I have built since October of '06.
I will be posting more flute photos as I continue to build up this site.

Flute: #1
Key: A
Wood: Western Cedar
Bore Diam: 3/4"

This Flute and its Bird were fashioned from the same piece of wood.  I used the equal spacing method for positioning the sound holes and it plays effortlessly.  The Bird design is unlike any that I have made since, but for this flute, it works perfectly.  This piece of cedar was chosen for the knot near the nest area, which I feel contributes nicely to the flute's character.

 

Flute: #3
Key: F
Wood: Western Cedar
Bore Diam: 1"

This flute, and the one after (#4), were created simultaneously out of the same piece of wood with the intention of making them almost identical in size, shape, sound and color.  These two flutes were gifted to my two closest friends for Christmas in '06 and I am pleased to hear that they both take them out on occasion to play them.

 

Flute: #7
Key: Low C
Wood: Western Cedar
Bore Diam: 1-1/4"

This flute was made for a special friend of mine who first got me interested in the Native American flute.  With his positive attitude, utmost confidence in me and overall excitement for the instrument, he inspired me to not only begin playing the flute, but to start making them as well.  This flute was made with 5 holes, because it's owner really likes 5-hole flutes.  The Bird was fashioned with an angled notch in front, making it the first generation of this style, which I now use for most of my flutes.

Here we can also see the insignia that gets burned by hand into each flute, which is accompanied by the number of the flute and the month and date that it received its first breath.  The butterfly was a design that a friend sent to me and I made some slight modifications to it in order to display my initials (MG) in the wings.

This was the first of my flutes to be dipped into the dunk tank shown to the left.  This 2" PVC tank is filled with Helmsman's Interior/Exterior High-Gloss Polyurethane and thinner.  The flute can be completely submerged into the liquid, giving it a beautiful gloss finish after applying only a couple of coats.  The flute becomes impervious to moisture and any cracks or imperfections are permanently sealed.
Flute: #8
Key: A
Wood: Western Cedar
Bore Diam: 1"

I originally attempted to make this flute in the key of G, but it turned out to be a bit short for that.  Instead, I trimmed it back to make it an A.  The end is cut at a 60 degree angle, just like Flute #7, giving it a little extra flare.  I also dipped this one in the dunk tank to give it that high-gloss finish.  This flute can be played softly or very loud.  Either way, it never fails to deliver a sweet sound.

Flute: #10
Key: D
Wood: Purpleheart
Bore Diam: 1-1/4"

This flute was sold to a dear friend of mine who plays flute very well.  Purpleheart is a hard wood to work with, but all that hard work does pay off when you see the beautiful finish it makes after several coats of Tung Oil are applied.  The Bird on this flute was made out of the same piece of cedar used to make my very first flute, so this flute and my first will always have this special connection.

Flute: #12
Key: E
Wood: Western Cedar
Bore Diam: 1"

Another cedar flute, dipped in the dunk tank after receiving a few coats of Tung Oil.  This flute also has the angled foot like some others I have built. 

Flute: #14
Key: F
Wood: Western Cedar
Bore Diam: 1/2"
Tuning: Celtic

This flute was made for a dear friend of mine.  It is the second of its kind that I've built, with a total length of only 12".  These flutes are unique in the fact that they play Amazing Grace perfectly, and the 5 holes are played similar to a diatonic flute, with some cross-fingering also available for additional notes.

Flute: #15
Key: G
Wood: Osage Orange
Bore Diam: 3/4"

This flute was made for a friend of mine.  He supplied the wood, requested the Key of G and asked that I leave it dry (without any finish on it).  Osage Orange is a beautiful wood, and when working with it, it can leave your shop looking like a pollen storm hit it.  The color is such a rich yellow that the sawdust practically glows.

Flute: #16
Key: G#
Wood: Bamboo
Bore Diam: approx. 1"

My first attempt at a walking stick flute, this flute is about 5'-3" tall and made from dried bamboo, purchased from the Bamboo Supply Company in Lakeland, FL.  They sell very affordable bamboo in lengths of 15 feet in many different sizes.  I have enough in my shop now to keep me busy for a while.

This is now my favorite flute!  I will be keeping this one as a prototype for others like it in the future.  When I first brought it into the St. Pete flute circle, I immediately got 3 orders for them.

Flute: #17
Key: G
Wood: Bamboo
Bore Diam: approx. 3/4"

My first try at a more traditional style flute, made from the bamboo I recently picked up.  Bamboo can be tricky to work with since the bore diameter is never quite uniform, but the natural nodes in the wood make for an otherwise easy fabrication.

Flute: #18
Key: F#
Wood: Padauk
Bore Diam: 3/4"
Tuning: Middle Eastern
(Featured on YouTube)

This is my first attempt at making a flute with a 7-hole, Middle Eastern tuning.  To hear how this flute sounds, visit this link.  This will also be a prototype for future Middle Eastern tuned flutes.

Flute: #21
Key: F#
Wood: Bamboo
Bore Diam: approx. 3/4"
 

While attempting to make my 4th Bamboo Walking Stick Flute, this piece gave me some troubles, so I cut off the top section and started over, and in the end, this is what I came up with.  This flute is well-balanced, easy to play and it has an incredible volume to it!  The mouth-piece is bamboo and it's glued into the side of the top section.  Both the top and bottom sections are capped off with the natural nodes.

For a more complete record of my work, please visit my MySpace page.

 
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Questions or Comments: Email Michelle
Last Updated 1/8/10