So I mentioned back in January I had no more blanks for building flutes, so I was taking a vacation to start noodling with my steel guitars. Ms. Denise won’t let me play them in the house because I’m horrible at it, and playing them in my unheated flute shop, at 52° F turned out to be way less than fun. Rooting around, I found I had two instruments already ripped and routed, and don’t want to touch either. One is Laotian flamewood (VERY hard) and the other is Lignam Vitae…the hardest wood on the planet. This crap is so hard and oily, it’s used as self lubricating bearings in submarine engines. Then I found I had ONE blank left of New Zealand 50,000 year old kauri bogwood…so for the last 7 weeks I’ve been building a flute. Most of that time was spent in building the compression fit bird. It simply slides on and off. I’ve built them before, and they mostly look like turtles. This one doesn’t look so much like a turtle, but looks a little like a flying anteater…..I’ll take it.

The ingredients include a couple of rare items. In addition to the Kauri, having been preserved in a bog for 50,000 years, and maybe longer, I’ve included two examples of ammolite, which is the occasionally iridescent  internal shell structure of the ammonite, a cephalopod like a nautilus.  Having lived in the shallows of the sea that extended from Alberta CN to New Mexico, along the Eastern slopes of the Rockies. These critters, as gemstones, are rarer than diamonds. The example at the mouthpiece is “dragonskin” ammolite, and is rarer still. Both are between 70-110 million years old. Other woods include SE Asian amboyna burl, CA buckeye burl, Virginia walnut, yew burl, and mappa burl. The remaining ingredients include almandine garnet, abalone, hematite, turquoise, and Australian fire opal.