I decided I wanted to defy the laws of physics, and build a flute with a 7/8” bore diameter…over two ft. long, tuned to E4m. Shortly thereafter, I decided there are some rules of acoustics that have no work around. I could have pulled it off, if I was building something like a train whistle. I didn’t want a train whistle. I also didn’t want to chop 6 inches off the end and lose the beautiful contrast in this “rainbow” poplar. Poplar is a fuzzy, open grain soft wood, most notably used in making cardboard boxes…..and toilet paper. The rainbow designation is an effort by lumber peddlers,  to glamorize the random mineral uptake by the tree during growth cycles. Nothing more.


In keeping the original length, I cut in a tuning hole, bringing the fundamental tuning to F4m. In my mind’s eye, it is a stylized dragonfly, with powdered inlay of Ethiopian jasper, Arizona turquoise, coyote bone, New Mexico pipestone, lapis lazuli, and malachite. Additionally, and this was a surprise, while I was busy cutting the fetish of two opposing ponies that I call “Fight or Flight”, my wife was above me on our deck, taking random photos of the storm clouds out over the ocean. When she showed me her handiwork, I saw what looked like my fetish block in one of the photos, and almost sprayed my cocktail all over her phone.


Additional materials include spiny oyster, abalone, Mexican boulder opal, turquoise, almandine garnet, and Mexican crazy lace agate…….Have a joyous holiday, celebrating whatever it is you like to celebrate. Play nice.