A piece of driftwood from Port Bruce in Ontario has been transformed into a lovely branch flute. I collected the driftwood several weeks ago and started creating the branch flute one Sunday afternoon.
You can watch the transformation process by watching the video. The music on the video is the played on the final driftwood branch flute.
As you can see in the video, here’s the process of making a Native American style Branch flute from Driftwood:
First, I removed the smaller side branches from the main branch and then cut the branch in half. Even as I began using my gouges to hollow out each half, I could see patterns in the wood coming through. Creating a branch flute is a discovery and an adventure, as every branch is unique in terms of its potential shape and size.
In making a branch flute, I’m looking at what Nature gives me – deciding on the length of the sound chamber and the best location to place the bird. It’s almost like reading the branch.
The process of the water and waves turning a piece of wood into driftwood removes many of the identifying elements of the wood – leaves, bark and sometimes even texture of the inside of the branch.
After sealing the inside chambers of the flute, I glued the two halves together and then sanded them.
Using a turquoise stabilizer, I filled in any of Nature’s gaps in the wood with turquoise and sanded again.
It’s fun to determined how many holes would fit with the particular flute and where to place them. The flute is concert tuned as a 5-hole B minor.
More sanding, finishing the nest area of the flute and then drilling the sound holes.
Several coats of shellac, and the flute was soon to be played.
The bird with a small conch is a reminder of the flute’s origin – the beach.
I played the flute and was inspired – as I usually am – with how a piece of driftwood could become such a sweet sounding musical instrument.
Creating a branch flute is an adventure – in this case, making the best use of an interesting piece of driftwood that I found on the beach.
Contact me through the form on this website if you’d like this 5-hole B-tuned driftwood branch flute. – Sold -You can read about some of the other branch flutes I’ve created — a sycamore branch flute and dogwood branch flutes.