Whitebait Kauri G#m…


Before outlining the build, a couple of words about some of the components.

New Zealand Kauri is bogwood. The variety is indigenous to New Zealand, and is approximately 50,000 years old. It may be older, but the accuracy of Carbon-14 dating falls off dramatically beyond 40,000 years. The wood was totally preserved as a result of the acids in the peat bog water at the time it fell over. When this tree fell, mankind had yet to venture out of Africa. Kauri still grows in New Zealand today, with a diameter about the size of a house.

Ammonite was a sea creature or Cephalopod, not unlike the Nautilus, that thrived in the shallows of various bodies of water worldwide, between 70 and 130 million years ago. Over 50,000 species suffered and recovered from various extinctions, and they ranged from passive plankton feeders, to aggressive predators with razor sharp beaks. Their mass extinction began 70 million years ago, when volcanic activity in the Rockies, covered large areas in meters thick ash, capping life below in iron rich bentonitic clay. The highly iron ion charged sediments then became the catalyst necessary to transform the inner shell of this creature into earth’s oldest and rarest gemstone. The large stone placed in the sound chamber of this instrument is a Russian ammonite. At 120 million years of age, the underside of this piece still had hints of the beauty of ammolite…. Ammolite is the inner lining of the shell of the Ammonite, which when fossilized will occasionally take on an opalescence and coloration of red, green, yellow, and rarely, blue and purple. I generally use Bear Paw ammolite. This material is harvested from Alberta Canada, and is approximately 70 million years old. Specifically, prior to the breakup of the super continent Pangaea into the various land masses, the Bear Paw Sea extended from the Arctic Circle, to present day New Mexico. This creature thrived in the shallows of that sea, along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

OK then, this flute is 19-3/8” in length, with a 7/8” bore diameter. The mouthpiece consists of SE Asian amboyna burl, between layers of olive wood, capped with the Kauri. Additional 19mm disks of the amboyna burl were inlaid to the sides of the compression chamber, while the fetish block was carved from the kauri, and bonded to a base of Oklahoma red cedar for moisture control. The wing overlay of the bird consists of abalone, mappa burl, and canarywood.

Inlay, beginning at the mouthpiece includes a 10x15mm Bear Paw ammolite, flanked by 4mm turquoise cabs. The compression disks are accented with 6mm dome cut Indian garnet, while the sound chamber includes an 11x19mm polished Russian ammonite. The finger holes are accented with four 4mm abalone dots, and another dome cut Indian garnet, and lastly, the fetish has a 6.75mm orange pearl set to the crown, and 2.8mm hematite beads set as eyes.

The flute was tuned at a wood temp of 75.2 degrees F, with an ambient temp of 71.8 degrees F, and a humidity factor of 52%.