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.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I thought I would take a few moments … and answer a couple of the questions that you folks, over and over … have never asked. For example … “Why did you stop painting altogether, after 30 years, and begin building flutes instead?” Funny you should ask. I suffered blinding trauma to my right eye in an accident on a farm in Perkins, OK. When that happens, you lose your perception of depth and perspective. Everything you see looks like a two dimensional postcard. Driving takes on a whole new level of thrills as well. Anyway, I was pretty upset with myself for quite some time. I was also pretty angry with God as well … because this effectively brought my plans of purchasing a shiny new Harley-Davidson to a screeching halt. What a trickster. However, since I could still HEAR fairly well, I started building flutes with specific voice characteristics, since those I purchased in the past didn’t have much volume. I figured short, plus big bore, equals loud, and basically I was right. What I wasn’t prepared for, was the creative and cathartic path I found myself traveling. The need to express, also known as creativity, is kind of like toothpaste. It’s going to go somewhere when you squeeze the tube, and life presents a number of challenges that more or less squeeze your tube on occasion. All in all, I would rather have my sight back, but then I probably would have killed myself on my shiny new Harley-Davidson…and I wouldn’t be building flutes

Another blog reader never asked, “How long does it take you to build a flute?” Ok then … that’s a tough one. Twice a year, I engage in a celebration I call “rip-n-rout week.” That’s all I do. I destroy my saw blades and my router bits. Then the table saw and the table router go back in the shop to become, oddly enough, tables, for all the stuff I use the rest of the year. I end up with about 70 blanks of about 20 different woods until I do it all over again. From that point forward, I spend about 30 hours, depending on how nasty the wood is, turning the sticks into a flute. The time factor keeps going up, as I spend more and more time on fetish blocks, and it doesn’t factor in “rip-n-rout week,” but I’m firing these things out at the blistering speed of about 3 a month.

I’ll post more questions you never asked later. Thanks.

Rich Halliburton President, CEO, CFO, COO/ Querencia Woodwinds