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.

Friday, June 05, 2009



"Playing a flute is like writing a book. You're telling what's in your heart...It's easier to play if it's right from your heart. You get the tone, and the fingers will follow."
-- Eddie Cahill

I’ve been somewhat remiss in updating my web page with new flutes, in part because I simply didn’t have any. Sometimes I get carried away on one or two flutes, and when I look up at the clock….three weeks has passed. I was down to a few blanks of exceptionally odd wood varieties, all of which are famous for the toxins associated with their sawdust, so I thought perhaps it was time to take a year’s worth of accumulated lumber, and rip it into sticks, and rout it into blanks for future flutes. This process took about twelve days, and I’m now good to go with about 80 new blanks before I get down to the 8-10 blanks I’m too scared to work with, and prompted this process in the first place. I figure I have a couple of years worth of cedar, zircote, paldao, huangana negra, radiata pine, yacashupana, cinnamon burl, buckeye burl, ancient kauri, cherry, Virginia walnut, amazique, paduk, Laotian and Cambodian flamewood, cocobolo, Indian rosewood, lacewood, zebrawood, guancalo alves, poplar, cypress, and a couple I forget how to spell.

I may have mentioned this in the past, but one of the questions web visitors constantly never ask… over and over again, is “Why do some flutes have ‘Email for price’ posted instead of a price?” and I’ll tell you why. Occasionally a flute will be entered in an art show, or a buyer has sent me a deposit, or I will revisit a flute and feel it needs additional work, or I simply want to change something. This allows me to suspend its availability for awhile without completely removing it from the website, and re-loading all the data again later.

For you folks across the pond…Thank you……generally, you folks have responded well to my price reductions, particularly those of you in Germany, Austria, and France. I understand the dynamic, wherein the Euro is strong, and the dollar is like the Peso, however, I would encourage some of you folks to move here, because I have to pack your flutes in pipe, to ensure safe arrival, and plumbing supplies are getting a little pricy. Plus, we have Knott’s Berry Farm and you don’t. Think about it. I’ll meet you at the airport.

The only snake oil/flute peddling road show for me during the year is the upcoming Yosemite flute festival. There is a link to it on the website, oddly enough, in the links section. I would put one here, but I don’t know how. Anyway, it’s a great way to see flutes and maybe have huge wild bears clawing at your lunch, possibly on the same afternoon. Festivals are generally the best way to purchase a flute, since you get to fiddle around with hundreds of them, from a couple dozen builders. The hot tip is to do your best bargaining on the last day, when builders like myself, are trying to scrape up the gas money necessary to get home.

As a parting note…. I have done my best to come up with a really good, inexpensive flute, and I haven’t had a lot of success. What I do to flutes is very labor intensive, and my plain flutes look like a 7th grade woodshop project. People who know my work, look at one of these finished flutes and think perhaps I had a stroke midway through construction, and gave up. I will continue to work on this issue, but I find myself competing with folks with some degree of automation, who turn out a remarkable instrument, each and every time, at a price point that is a fraction of mine. In the meantime, I’ll keep sending folks to my friend Odell Borg at WWW.Highspirits.com ….Ok then…play nice.