Native American style flutes captured my interest and my heart in
2001. After picking up a flyer at a pow-wow, my daughters and I attended
a flute circle in Gainesville, FL. Within just
a few months, we'd each acquired several flutes.
I was amazed by the variation in these
incredible instruments. Differences in woods, designs, tones and
appearance led me to consider making one of my own. While I thought about it for more than a year, I didn't act until three
accomplished flute makers ganged up on me. In a very good way -- at a local pow-wow.
On that fateful day, Kuzin Bruce (Kuzin Bruce Flutes), Joey Hill and Ray Wood (Island Flutes)
started me on what appears to be a lifelong journey. Later, other
world-class flute makers shared important lessons they had learned
during many years of their own efforts. I won't try to name everyone for
fear of forgetting someone, but makers who know me very well (Joey
Hill, Ray Wood, Darrell Allen (Two Feather Flutes), and those I've spoken with at NAF events, Russ Wolf, Dana Ross (Falcon Flutes and Drums), Mike Knight (Old Turtle Flutes), Utah Farris (Flight Feather Flutes), Brad 'Dog Soldier' Young (4 Wind Flutes)), and many others, who
have shared so graciously of their expertise, time, advice and wisdom,
please know I will remain eternally grateful.
In 2007 and again in 2013, flutes entered in Musical Echoes Native American Flute and Cultural Festival
makers competition were chosen as the second place winners (see:
'Competition Winners' > '2007' and '2013'). I was, and will always be thrilled
with this honor. However, one of my fondest memories is the fact that
the only flute I bought at the Festival in 2007 for my own collection -- 15 minutes before the awards were
announced, was made by Randy Stenzel of Feather Ridge Flutes.
Randy's flute made of North Florida panhandle driftwood took third
place in the flute maker's competition. Mike Knight earned another well
deserved first place win.
My objectives are straight forward. A flute must play well before
decorations are considered. I always try to make a flute that plays
well; sounds good; and, hopefully looks as good or better than it sounds
A flute bag must be durable so that it may appropriately protect
the precious flutes carried within. A bag should also be as attractive
as possible, to honor those flutes.
My mark and name are only placed on items when I'm personally satisfied with the quality.
Please note. I am not an enrolled member of any Native American tribe and therefore label my flutes using the word "style" to explicitly indicate they are "made in the style of Native American flutes."