Rich Halliburton's Querencia Flutes

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Location: Hermosa Beach, California, United States

After building flutes for a number of years now, I sneeze sawdust, and it scares my cat. That being said, it is however an absolute drop dead, no joke passion for me. When I'm not eating sawdust, I'm searching the entire planet for the most beautiful, exotic/bizarre woods, and gemstones I can find. I plow every dime back into purchasing these items, in addition to a few margarita supplies....... I don't follow, or pretend to understand a lot of the cardinal rules of flutemaking, and the end product seems to indicate I'm better off for it. PLUS, I continue to make great friends on a daily basis, most of whom possess humbling talent. ...Ya won't find that working at a carwash, even if it does pay better.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Some Old, Some New, as well as some Healing elements


This instrument is built primarily from 50,000 year old New Zealand Kauri. The additional woods include Bethlehem Olive, Cedar of Lebanon, and a diamond cut of SE Asian amboyna burl set into the sound chamber. Inlaid stone work includes 70-130 million year old dragon skin ammolite, from the Bear Paw Alberta formation, labradorite, hematite, Brazilian mystic topaz, Iron pyrite, turquoise, and hematite.

…..I need you folks to routinely visit my Querencia Woodwinds Facebook page, as well as my blog, accessed from my website, to become back porch ambassadors for my work. Nobody on earth builds an instrument like mine..except a couple of guys in Ukraine/Russia, maybe. Also leave a comment about what you like, or more importantly, what you don’t like about my work, so I can move in a direction that will generate flute sales. Thank you. Life remains in turmoil. Stay safe, cautious, and vigilant.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Never throw out what you perceive to be failed efforts……

 During the build of my recently posted 3 piece instrument, back in 2011, I had some initial success that prompted initiating a second build a few months later. I was wrong. Five years later, I smashed the Gm barrel earmarked for this instrument, all out of frustration. This flute is therefore just a backpacking flute wherein the overall length is reduced from 22-1/4 inches, by about 8-1/4 inches simply by removing the headstock. The flute will no longer look like a billy club or shotgun sticking out the top of your backpack…..For flute builders, or any instrument builders for that matter, When you perceive your project to be a failure, Just park it, until your skill set, vision, and different materials become available to you…..steps off soapbox.

Built from Alowood. Specifically, plantation grown New Zealand radiata pine, wherein the soft wood was hardened by high pressure blowing of colored starch, completely through the material. The material is no longer available anywhere on earth. Additional materials include Dyed/ stabilized box elder burl, tiger sycamore, Gabon ebony, paua abalone, rainbow topaz, Ethiopian opal doublet, Queensland AU boulder opal, hematite, turquoise, and crushed AZ malachite. Stay healthy, and enjoy the day.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

What's the rush?


Straight out of the ‘What’s The Rush Dept.’ here at Querencia Woodwinds, is an instrument I’ve been building since 2011, and I think it’s done…..Oklahoma red cedar, interchangeable barrels, tuned to F#m with the shorter barrel tuned to the neighborhood of Am. The headstock has compression chamber wicking, thanks to the guidance of the late Leonard Lone Crow McGann, minimizing wet out issues during play. Materials in addition to the cedar include SE Asian amboyna burl, African ebony, copper sheet laminate, old Tibetan turquoise, a beautiful cab of Battle Mt. NV turquoise, Mexican fire agate, abalone, and rainbow topaz. The bore diameter is 7/8 inch. As always, stay healthy and be nice to one another.   

Friday, October 15, 2021


So Peruvian huangana negra is the material used for this G#m instrument, as it remains one of my favorite tone woods, I continue to be the only builder on earth using this material, and it is not the most cooperative in terms of its willingness to become a flute. The fetish block is not a bird. It is a theme I dreamed up years ago, entitled “Fight or Flight” wherein one horse is willing to charge into battle, while the other, head lowered, runs from conflict. It is a perfect example of why I continue to prefer carving birds. Additional materials include Australian boulder opal, Mexican fire opal, Mexican crazy lace agate, spiny oyster, hematite, African garnet, rainbow topaz, turquoise, and abalone. Additional woods include SE Asian thuya burl, box elder burl, yew, mappa burl, quilted maple and Hawaiian koa. I encourage you to visit my website, to see exact dimensions of these native American style flutes. You will see a detailed accounting of materials, their placement, and be able to listen to a sound file of each posted instrument. Perhaps you will want to make a purchase. I encourage your comments and concerns… Play nice, and continue to play safe.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

.....Three woods, and lots of labradorite


And the primary wood is pretty special. New Zealand Kauri is about as big around as a house and still grows there. This kauri was harvested from a tree that fell over, and into a peat bog, about 50,000 years ago. This material costs between $70.00 and $140.00 per board foot. By contrast, Eastern red cedar costs between 25 cents and 5 dollars per board foot. The wood is too pricy to fiddle around with in terms of build experiments. The other two woods are macassar ebony and SE Asian amboyna burl. The world’s most expensive burl wood. The remaining components include labradorite, Mexican boulder opal, turquoise, Sri Lanka sapphires, abalone, Brazilian topaz….and more labradorite. The instrument is tuned to Fm, and is 22-1/8 inches in length. As always, play nice with one another, and remain Covid cautious.  

Monday, September 06, 2021

The bird potential lunch

 So about 12 years ago, I cut some live edge amboyna Burl, and had a tiny scrap left over. I thought then….maybe I can make something with this someday. I stumbled across it once or twice a year since then. I just finished a flute of Oklahoma red cedar, and used that scrap as part of the block, and it tells a story. The latest flute still has a bird, but in this case, the bird is potential lunch. It also has a cat, stalking the bird. Cats will stalk animals smaller than themselves, even if they’re not hungry. I guess it’s just a fun thing to do. The assemblage was somewhat fragile, so I stabilized it with crushed Arizona turquoise and chrysocolla, and created two birds, and two cats….figuring somebody will eventually break one or both of them. While fooling with it, I set the second bird up on the butt of the cat, and the visual got me laughing so hard I almost pee’d myself…..I’m entertained easily. Anyway, if you find yourself in a bar fight, and your only weapon is this flute, please remove the block before mixing it up. If you are in a bar, and pull out the flute to improvise a little tune,…I guarantee you’ll find yourself in a bar fight. Ingredients include Mexican boulder opal, Mexican fire opal, Australian opal, garnet, faceted African cognac diamonds, abalone, labradorite and turquoise……In the meantime, Covid 19 is making a return engagement where I live, it’s got a new cast of characters and the same deadly plot twists. Get vaccinated and stay Covid cautious.#Nativeamericanstyle #querenciawoodwinds

Monday, August 23, 2021

Adios Laotian Flamewood


Laotian flamewood is one of the hardest, most beautiful, and nastiest of the rosewood species on the planet. There are aspects of this build that look like they were done by a six year old, owing to the obstinance of the material. I have one chunk of wood left of this stuff, after which I'll say adios to working with it again. Ever. Tuned to D#, this oval bore flute is 22-1/4” in length. Contrasting woods include amboyna burl and Bethlehem olive, while inlay material is predominately turquoise and labradorite, with a little abalone and hematite thrown in. As we continue to run around under the cloud of Covid, please remain cautious. Extra cautious if like myself, you got a J&J vaccine. It appears the newest variant (Lambda) just laughs at this vaccine…..probably uses it for food. Stay safe and play nice.