“Every music lover is familiar with the sound of the flute, which seems to possess a magic power that emanates from its innermost being. It speaks, it moves, it entrances, almost as if it had been revealed to us on the glorious day of creation. And yet it is genuine human expression, an element of language, the image of a dream continually repeated.”
–Meylan, in The Flute, p.9
Well, 2008 is over and done….and if I could dig a bigger hole for its burial, I’d rent a backhoe and some dynamite. I understand 2009 isn’t looking so hot either.
To the degree that I’m able, I will continue to keep the price of flutes as low as I can, based on the time invested in each flute and the materials used. I will also continue with USPS Priority Insured domestic shipping at no charge, as well as the extra goodies I include with each flute. I’m sure you folks will let me know when the economy has righted itself, and I can again charge thousands of dollars for a flute, and tack on huge shipping charges that have no bearing on actual costs. I look forward to that, hopefully by the end of 2010.
As an overview of the year, 8,734 different folks came by my website to say hello, looking at 25,814 pages, resulting in the sale of 30 flutes. These numbers continue to be perfect, in spite of the economy, since I continue to fire flutes out of my shop at the blistering rate of about 30 a year. I figure this modest yearly output is what keeps corporate giants like Raytheon or Flutes-R-Us from tendering buyout offers for my company. Keeping my operation unattractive to corporate giants is just one more thing I do for you, my loyal clients.
During the course of this last year, I’ve explored the skill and talent presented by a small number of Zuni fetish carvers. Using jet, jasper, turquoise, and a number of other stone varieties, these folks cut beautiful and powerful works of art and magic. Although pricing for fetish carvings can approach $200.00, I’ve purchased a few for between $30.00 and $60.00. I will be bonding these to SE Asian amboyna/cedar bases, for use on a select number of flutes. Doing so adds a stunning example of authentic Zuni artwork, and lets me off the hook in trying to carve, say….a kit fox, that I guarantee would look like a gopher. An example is included in the clickable photo above. If you click on the other photo, I tried to get a shot of the ANT orchestra on the roof of Querencia World Headquarters. They consist of river rocks and torn up shopping carts. I just love Mexico, except when I’m being kidnapped or shot at.
During the coming year, I will continue a practice I began a couple of months ago wherein I’ll build some flutes that I will market for less than $200.00. The instruments will have the same build and sound characteristics of my more expensive flutes, but without time consuming crushed stone and wood inlay, or accents and appointments of diamonds, ammolite, and opals. They will however have some appealing characteristics so I continue to enjoy the process of building them.
As this New Year takes off like a corn grinder on one cylinder, I want to thank everybody who has inquired about my flutes, whether you subsequently purchased one or not. I didn’t receive one crank call, nobody was drunk, and you didn’t call at 3:00 in the morning. I’ll do my best to keep giving you useful information, even if I have to pull my facts out of thin air. During that process, I hope to continue to make great friends, as you have all been just truly great folks, with an honest passion for this instrument. In closing, now that we’re headed into an exceptionally cold winter here on the California coast, if you live in Hawaii, or some place subject to afternoon trade winds, and you have a pool or an ocean, with perhaps a palapa bar, and maybe some monkeys in the trees, your flute maker is available for a free private consultation……for about a month, maybe two. Make your New Year happy. Rich Halliburton
Thanks for the wonderful update Rich. I appreciate the information and the stats regarding your web traffic. I also appreciate the great art you are making. Thanks for the great flutes and the artistic integrity that is obviously involved the the creation of each instrument. I also really like the picture of Rudolf visiting your shop. Did she buy many flutes? She looked a little unstable so I am imagining she had been hitting the eggnog by the time she made California.