Sunday, June 21, 2009

Flute Making/"Birds"

I am again making some Flutes, 11 more to be exact, 5 Aromatic Red Cedar and 6 Black Walnut Flutes.
I started hand carving the Blocks(also called "Birds"), which goes on top of the flute and channels the air from the slow air chamber to blow across the sounding board hole, each Block("Bird") has a small channel cut in on the under side to pick up air and channel it forward over the forward hole cut into the sound chamber .
Most often craftsmen make the Block in the shape of an Animal or Bird, thus the reason most times the Block is referred to as a "Bird".
I started carving the Blocks ("Birds") using Aromatic Red Cedar and carved the 4 pictured above, and finished the 5 th one today...each taking about a day or two to hand carve, depending on the amount of detail involved.
Below I am picturing all 5 now completed Blocks ("Birds").
Click on each to enlarge for a better detailed view.
A friend who is of the Crane Clan (Native American) asked me a short time ago if I could do a Crane.....of course loving a challenge..I decided to do one and here it is.

This is an Eagle Head I carved for a Block("Bird").

This is a Buffalo (American Bison) I carved.

My version of a Howling Wolf.

In keeping with loving a challenge ,I carved this Symbolic Bear with an inlaid Heart Line of Turquoise, which I cut and inlaid and then ground down flush with the Cedar wood and then polished, it has the Turquoise Heart Line on both sides.
All the carvings have both sides carved as identically as possible, then they are sealed with Danish Oil Finish and given a coat or two of Paste Wax.
I have the Eleven Flute Blanks (2 inches Square by 24-28 1/2 inches long) all ready to rout out the Sound Chambers and Slow Air Chambers,which will be a One Inch Bore, I will then drill the fingering holes in the proper places and tune the flute and shape it and then seal it with Danish Oil finish(several coats) and then give them a few coats of Johnsons Paste Wax and buff to a nice soft glow to bring out the beauty of the wood used.

When I finish a flute or two I will post photographs of them for you to follow the progress of the 11 flutes I am making.

1 comment:

Judith HeartSong said...

I love all of these and the crane is just fantastic. Such a beauty. Virginia has wood flutes and I always love seeing your work.