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, January 11, 2022

Time for a Little Break....

 So, finished two days ago, this flute is my final build for 2021. I’m taking a couple of months off, as I have 23 flutes that need sound files, and posting to my website. I also need to refresh my memory and that of any of my neighbors within earshot,  as to why I should not play any of my seven steel guitars. Ever. Although this flute is not unusual, it is the last of the 2021 Covid collection, so I’m posting the spec. sheet that is included on the website, and sent to a buyer, rather than a brief paragraph of ingredients and a crank note about Covid. Stay safe and play nice.

01221/Oregon Myrtle Gm.


Another example of one of my favorite woods, this flute is 20-5/16 inches in length, with a 7/8 inch bore diameter.


Woods used in the build beginning at the mouthpiece include twice dyed/stabilized box elder burl, sandwiched between layers of Bethlehem olive, and capped with the myrtle. Each side of the compression chamber includes 19mm disks of the box elder, with addl. 9.5mm disks inset to those disks as well. The fetish sits on a base of flame scorched Oklahoma red cedar, with fairly accurate representations of bobcats found in North American petroglyphs etched to each side. The animal is my loose interpretation of a a bobcat, cut from Oregon myrtle burl, with natural voids filled with powdered turquoise from the Sleeping Beauty mine in Globe AZ.


Inlay, again beginning at the mouthpiece includes a 10x12mm dome cut labradorite cab, flanked by 4mm turquoise dots. Accenting each side of the compression chamber is an additional set of 4mm turquoise dots as well. The sound chamber includes a faceted 12x15mm labradorite cab followed by four 5mm abalone dots and a 6mm turquoise cab accenting the finger holes. Lastly, the fetish has a 6mm turquoise cab set to the animal’s crown, and 2.8mm hematite beads set as eyes.


A permanent wrap to the sound chamber is fashioned from distressed 1mm round domestic rawhide and Romanian hemp because I enjoy doing it.


The flute was tuned at a wood temperature of 73.7° F as measured by non contact laser, and an ambient temp. of 72.3° F at sea level with a humidity factor of 62%.

For drying purposes, it is unnecessary to completely remove the fetish block from the flute body, simply loosening the ties and pulling the block gently to the side is sufficient to dry out the flue area. If you absolutely must take the assembly apart, have plenty of wooden toothpicks on hand to gently coax the ties back through the flute as well as the base of the block. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

…And a big steaming plate of “ADIOS” for 2021

 With a side order of Good riddance. So much crisis and divisive turmoil is really trashing what’s left of my Golden Years…..but I digress.


This Virginia walnut Gm flute is my last instrument for the year, and it’s a 20 inch screamer. Woods in addition to the walnut include California buck eye burl, box elder burl, SE Asian amboyna burl, mappa burl, and Oklahoma red cedar. Additional condiments include Mexican crazy lace agate, turquoise dots, Sleeping Beauty Mine powdered turquoise, orange pearls, a coin pearl, abalone and hematite. Also includes a permanent rawhide binding and a removable South Dakota prairie rattlesnake wrap.  And yes, the fetish block is another bird carving. There is just very little artistic license you can express carving a porcupine or gopher................On another note, I sold a flute last week, which generated an unsolicited testimonial on Dec. 10th. I have over 100 posted on my website, but I have never shared them outside of that platform,,,,until today. This was a truly humbling surprise. The client wrote  If youre on the fence or deciding between one of Richs flutes and another craftsmans, let me cast the final vote for you: buy from Rich. I got the chills blowing in to this for the first timeits exactly the sound for which Ive been looking. The attention to detail, craftsmanship, right down to the carefully curated paperwork he sends, this flute and the whole process have been world class. I really do feel like this isnt just a flute; I can feel the love Rich poured into this, and look forward to enjoying it for decades to come.….He wanted to add more, but I suggested to do so, would appear that I created the whole thing myself. Here’s hoping 2022 recovers gracefully from 2021and 2020. Play nice, and be safe.


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.