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, July 27, 2021

A few words about burls....


Burls, when found growing on the sides of trees, or within a tree’s root system, are an interesting anomaly for any variety. They are nothing more than a wart, and look and behave without regard for any attributes of the variety of tree on which they’re growing. Building anything from a burl is challenging and frustrating as there are voids, twisted grain, and weird knots. Oddly, they are always more expensive than their straight grained counterpart. I’m guessing it’s due to their rare and unique beauty. Generally, they’re popular as bookends.

This flute was built from Oregon myrtle burl wood. Fortunately only 4 voids in the body had to be filled with powdered turquoise from Arizona’s Sleeping Beauty mine. One previous project, specifically California Buckeye burl,  had 56 holes in need of backfilling.

Tuned to Gm, the woods used are limited to the myrtle burl, SE Asian amboyna burl, and macassar ebony. The stone work includes Mexican crazy lace agate, Mexican jelly opal. turquoise, labradorite, abalone, amber, and hematite. There will be a burl quiz next week, now go out and play. No bullying.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021


Huangana Negra remains one of my favorite tone woods in building flutes. This started out tuned to F#m, but became a Gm after adding the stylized snake tuning hole at the far end. Amboyna burl, old growth redwood burl, mappa burl, box elder burl, with addl. accents of African garnet, Mexican crazy lace agate, labradorite, Sleeping Beauty mine turquoise, abalone and hematite. and a little rawhide wrap.....Stay Covid cautious, and play nice with one another.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Poplar is not a favorite, but.......


Poplar F#m, 20.5” in length, 7/8” bore diameter. This material is excited to become a flute, instead of the predictable destiny of becoming a cardboard box. It is not one of my favorite tone woods, because it sounds too much like…..well, poplar, and by extension, like red cedar. However, I’m pleased with the end result, as to tone and visual appeal….. The fetish block is not a bird. I’m going with hybrid. I was trying to create a bear, but I think I’m stuck with gopher or possum….your choice……Sleeping Beauty mine turquoise, labradorite, Australian opal, abalone, box elder burl, and amboyna burl.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Trash Tree of Texas...


Here at the tail end of the Covid Collection, I have a G#m flute built from Mesquite. Also known as the "Trash Tree of Texas", it is living proof that Mother Nature has a sense of humor. Not being a sought after wood variety for Native American style flutes, This material's greatest contribution to mankind is probably it's willingness to become.....charcoal. That being said, it is nevertheless a little screamer, as flutes in that key tend to be. Additional materials include Mexican cocobolo, twice dyed box elder burl, Battle Mt. NV turquoise, spiny oyster, labradorite, and removable, slide off wrap of Western diamondback rattlesnake skin. The skin was harvested from the Spike Box ranch outside Benjamin TX and I tanned and dyed it to try and maintain the color scheme of the instrument, and basically just to see what would happen. Stay well, and play nice.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

 I find this instrument interesting, in that the majority of the three woods used, are referenced since the beginning of recorded history, and both are protected as a result. Specifically, Cedar of Lebanon, and Bethlehem olive. The majority of the stone inlay are labradorite, known for the healing properties of the crystals, as well as transformation and enhancement of personal strength. The flute has a 7/8" bore, is 16-5/8" inches in length, and tuned to Am @ 440Hz. A sound file will be available when it's posted to my shiny new website. In the meantime, enjoy Spring, gather responsibly, and hope the light at the end of the tunnel is not an incoming train.

People Reached

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Wow, Where did seven years go?

I was trying to figure out a reasonable explanation for a SEVEN YEAR absence from my blog, and the top contenders were I took a serious nap, or I was a POW in a third world country. I decided fibbing was not the answer, and I needed to take the high I'm going with "I was abducted by Aliens". Oops, sorry, wrong road. Seriously, although I continue to build these instruments, I took a couple of years off to prove to myself I cannot play the steel guitar. Starting with 9-10 electrified cigar box sliders I built, I really began to enjoy playing the slide guitar, but hated building them...... I still do. And I have seven slide guitars to prove I should be no where near them. I am horrible at it, but still have fun, at the auditory expense of a few neighbors. Thereafter, I set up Querencia Woodwinds with it's own Facebook page, and it's a public page so being a member of Facebook is unnecessary. I just provide a little mini showcase of the instruments that will eventually find themselves on my brand new website. My old website was 17 years old.....built when smartphones were dumb as a box of nails, and the size of milk cartons, with no screen. I truly needed to drag the technology into the 21st century, and did so as of last week. Please visit. It's brand shiny new, so please don't break anything. Not much fun going on with this post. Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things. Thanks for visiting and be nice to one another. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

 “Creative thought by artists, craftsmen, and scientists involves the subconscious reception of ideas from the future, which literally create themselves”.- Dr. Jack Sarfatti, physicist.

Holy Cow. It’s been SIXTEEN MONTHS since the last Querencia Woodwinds Occasional Newsletter.  I must have been in a coma. What’s worse, I really have nothing much to show for it, except a few flutes. I married off the last of my daughters about a week ago. It was a nice ceremony, if you don’t count the part where my 40 year old, twice used, dress shoes, completely fell apart. Heels fell off, soles chipped away, everything FELL OFF. By the time I walked her down the aisle they looked like ballet slippers……  On another note, I’ve been trying to learn the lap steel guitar, without a lot of success. I own three, one of which is 65 years old. My thinking is if I own a LOT of them, they will become easier to play. My skill level has already skyrocketed up to “irritating”, and with five more, I’m thinking I could sound like Ry Cooder. Neighbors have been enjoying the light melodic flute tuning from my shop for over a decade. They are not so happy with the lap steel and my Fender amp kicked in to “Overdrive”, in accompaniment to Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Tony Joe White. I move on…….Christmas was interesting. Santa brought Tasers for my daughters, and an inflatable unicorn hat for my cat Cisco. I got a pillowcase thing called a napsack, so I could sleep sitting up, like on a bench.  Lastly, in an effort to shed a few pounds, I’ve begun combining food groups, blending the healthy with the not so healthy. I present vegetables and hot cakes….stay tuned for the cookbook.
From the Querencia Flute Dept. ....... On a sad note, for any of you who follow this blog, or know this premier flute maker, Leonard Lonecrow McGann lost his battle with cancer. We in the flute making community, donated flutes for auction, cash, and anything of value, in an effort to bring Leonard home to his little farm on Difficult Creek Rd. in Virginia. He came home to throngs of well wishers from all over the nation. After a few days, all the well wishers departed, and Kitty, his wife, told me she was looking forward to a little alone time with him. He passed 7 hours later.  Bill Leyden composed and recorded a song for Leonard with one of his flutes. Rest well Leonard.

Bill Leyden is a prolific song writer and instrumentalist, crafting lush compositions wherein the Native American flute sits center stage. I visited him at his home on Corn Squeezing Ln. high above Prescott valley AZ. By the time I got home, he had written and recorded a song for me entitled “Querencia”  The boy has some mad skills, and I was truly touched, and honored.

Somewhere buried in a previous post, I mentioned a product called the “Walk a bout”. A small self contained mic and amp system you sling over your shoulder, with about 50 programmable voices, allowing the player to create echo, reverb, and all kinds of effects while, well…walking about. I had Scott August noodle around on the thing and posted it to YouTube, because there was nothing like it available. The unit was a chore to keep happily charged, with three different sources necessary to charge it. Well, that manufacturer is out of business, for a number of complex reasons, and a former product owner, thought…”There must be a better way. He has developed a beautiful product I proudly own. It takes 6 AA batteries that last over a year. Plugging the mic into the unit turns it on, removing the mic turns it off …..That’s it. Multiple voices and contours, you can check it out via the link. If you order, please tell Charles you read about it here.

I’m about to thin the herd of sold flutes on my website, and add 6-7 new instruments. I’m proud of all of them, but particularly the last of a second series of three, incorporating incredibly old materials in a 50,000 year old Kauri instrument. An interesting read.

OK then….I’ve posted pictures corresponding to aspects of this rant, but can’t figure out how to sequence them. I’m sure you can figure it out, if you got this far. In the meantime, according to TIME magazine, the one game played by children in every country on the planet…is “Hide and Seek”…………..tag, you’re it. Go outside and play.