About the Flute Maker
Graeme has worked with a wide variety of Australian and overseas timbers for more than 40 years. For the last several years he has researched and developed his Native American style flutes to produce concert quality sound while maintaining a distinctive appearance. Graeme's ability to select a piece of timber and make it sing is well known. Like his drums, his flutes are crafted from his heart. He takes the time to 'read' the grain of a piece of timber before crafting a flute to get the maximum in performance and appearance from each instrument. This ability takes many years of woodworking experience. He specialises in flutes made from rare Australian timbers and burls.
Our flutes are known for their playability, responsiveness and acoustics. We believe we've now improved on this. We use a specially designed slow air chamber to capture moisture which minimises the chance of the flute wetting out. To make our flutes, we use a combination of a few different time proven traditional methods, combined with the latest technology. We have made a substantial investment in precision machinery so we can better craft precisely made and tuned flutes. This machinery has an accuracy which can be very difficult to obtain using hand tools.
All our flutes are made from solid blocks of timber and precision bored, not split and glued. Precision boring produces a perfectly round smooth bore which is ideal for creating sound. This process also allows us to use highly figured and decorative timbers without a glue line on the side of the flute disrupting the natural flow of the grain. It also eliminates the risk of the glue line possibly splitting in the future. All our end caps and timber inlay work are done using accepted woodworking practises, not just glued on.
All our flutes are sealed inside and out with an organic based oil blend. The outside of the flute is then finished with several coats of a very tough, durable and non-toxic satin clear finish. Our flutes are precisely tuned in the pentatonic scale, 6 or 5 hole tuning, with the option of diatonic tuning.
It is our belief that in Australia we have some of the best acoustic quality timbers in the world. Many of which have virtually been ignored.
It's taken us many years to develop our large network of contacts and suppliers for our flute timber. We carry a large stock of rare or unusual Australian timbers and burls. If we haven't got it we can usually get it. Some 95-98% of our timber comes from forest salvaged sources. The rest of our timber is from recycled sources. We do not support unsustainable forestry practices.
Burls are regarded as freaks of nature. Most tree species can produce burls which typically appear as an abnormal lump or growth on various parts of a tree. They occur when a tree has suffered a wound or insect irritation and the tree then overcompensates to correct the problem. The timber contained in the burl is usually denser than that of the host tree, which makes it a very useful timber for woodwind instruments, and highly decorative due to its irregular grain.
The colours and grain features contained in burls are endless but they are always very decorative. The burl slabs we source for our flutes must be of a mid to large size and of a very high grade to produce structurally sound instruments. This size and quality of burl is hard to find. The grades of burl we source are quite often beyond what our suppliers or ourselves have seen before.
Burl flutes are a highly specialised aspect of flute making and are truly unique instruments, quite often with exceptional acoustic qualities. There's very few timbers that can match them for acoustic quality combined with decorative appearance.
If you have any doubts or questions about the use of burl timber for flutes Contact Us. Graeme can explain the facts and dispel the myths surrounding the use of this amazing timber for flutes. His knowledge is based on well over 40 years of wood working experience.
Extra Design and Decorative Options for Flutes
The options we have available for custom designed flutes include inlay work with timber, gemstone and shell. We also do fill work with gemstone or shell. Burl ends are an eye catching feature. Our burl endcaps are naturally done, not burnt imitations. We also offer a range of hand carved totem blocks such as eagle, bear, wolf, horse. Our custom blocks included snake and leopard.
The choice of timber is also a consideration when designing flutes. Timber can effect the warmth or coolness of the tone, along with the visual appeal and weight of the overall flute.