Handcrafted from English woods by Nigel Shaw
Nigel has been creating traditional wooden flutes for 25 years, making most of the instruments with which he performs and records. During this time he has developed the original ancient Native Amercian design (originally shared with him by his Bamboo Cedar Oak flute brother Guillermo Martinez) into flutes that resonate with the ancient songs and prayers of these British islands, especially echoing the sounds of forest, woodland, river banks and open moor.
Each flute is carved by hand from a variety of native woods and takes several days from initial preparation to final tuning. Before the making stage the wood is cut into blocks and slowly seasoned inside the workshop during 2-3 years. All of the wood comes from Dartmoor: some of it cut by Nigel from fallen trees on our own land or close by, some of it sourced from a traditional family-run hill farm and timber mill on the moors. Each flute is uniquely shaped and can emerge from the process with stunning markings and unusual spalting (colouring produced by natural changes within the wood). The flutes are each carefully tuned to a specified key; the final tuning is done to professional concert precision. Every flute is accompanied by a finger chart as well as useful information about playing and care of the instrument, including instructions about using either the primary (or pentatonic) six-hole scale or the expanded six-hole scale.
Nigel also makes drone (double-barrelled flutes) for sale. These are especially loved by those who want to deepen and enrich their experience with flute playing. Most flutes are made to commission and created to individual specifications. The availability of different wood types will vary but generally includes: Oak, Ash, Silver Birch, Yew, Alder, Hazel and Cedar and occasionally Wild Cherry, Rowan, Hornbeam, Beech, Holly, Walnut and Scots Pine.
Prices range from £150 – £250 for a single flute and £250 – £350 for a drone (double-barrelled) flute. Postage is charged in addition. Please email or phone Nigel if you have any quesitons about the flutes or would like to discuss a commission.
Both single and drone flutes are taught by Nigel each year at his sacred instrument making workshops and advanced master classes. He also offer one-to-one flute making tuition by arrangement for a limited number of days each year.
Below is a gallery of some commissioned instruments made over the last few years.
We some time have stock of flutes made by Native American master flute-maker Guillermo Martinez in California, who makes some of the finest flutes in the USA. Please see the gallery below to see the flutes that we currently have available. To see more of Guillermo’s flutes you can visit his website at Quetzalcoatl Music.