I have now over 20 years as a flute maker, 15 of which has provided my sole income and supported my family and built a beautiful life for us. I could have never imagined where this flute journey has taken me.
The person who first taught me how to make flutes was a man named John EagleHeart. I met him in Sante Fe, where he was selling flutes at a flea market. I watched him play the flutes while his son was napping next to him on a buffalo robe. John offered to teach me his craft. Within a week, I arrived at his house in Del Norte, Colorado, where I stayed for one month in his tipi, learning the art of flute making. This kind man is also a pipe carrier for the people, and poured for me four of my first sweat lodge ceremonies, which is now a very important part of my life. This adventure was profound for me, as John lived in this vast and beautiful desert with his wife and two children, in a home with no electricity or running water, and managed wonderfully. It was truly a lesson of faith in the Creators ability to provide for us. The golden eagles that circled this land, were kind enough to bless me with one of their feathers, a symbol of the birth of my path on this Red Road, and the birth of SingingTree Flutes. From there I kept traveling and fine tuned the flute making craft, learning about tuning with a chromatic tuner, and making various keys, styles and tunings. Eric Marczach a flute maker from Albany, NY was a huge help in helping me with this. It took many years of trial and error to learn the finger placement for all the various keys and tunings, and I'm still learning!
Through the past 20 years I have apprenticed many people, including my wife Sarah who can make some amazing sounding flutes, Tony Gomes, and many others. One apprentice that stands out is Billy Spear of WildWood Flutes. We were neighbors for a long time sharing a workshop, as well as beliefs and a common goal. The goal being, to work with each other and other Artists to continuously improve our product, sharing ideas, advice and criticism. He has now moved on to a very successful green carpentry business, but will always be remembered as a great flute maker! He was a huge help to me in fine tuning my craftsmanship, and he was responsible for getting me on the internet, where ebay gave singingtreeflutes a world name. Thanks Billy!, Love you!
Also, I have continued my walk as a spiritual person, and am very involved in Native American ceremonies etc. It has become an obligation of mine to help support the healing of Native and non Native people who have suffered various traumas, and to help remind and encourage people to find joy, love and unity in this life. The flute maker lifestyle also gives me the ability to help people in this way, through ceremony and council, non of which is "paid". I beleive that if I live a blessed life, I show gratitude for that by helping others find a way to have a blessed life. See more on our News and Community Page.