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|Casey Burns Flutes|
FUNDRAISING FOR MY CLAUDE LAURENT GLASS FLUTE PROJECT: I am officially on Sabbatical from making wooden flutes to sell here or at my Traditional Flutes website - or will be once I finsh these last remaining flute projects. Instead I am working to make these Glass Flutes which were last made in 1845 a modern reality. I am now accepting Contributions towards my goal of being the first to make in modern times. Contact me if you would like to donate to this project!
These flutes are very important in the history of woodwinds for their invention of post mounted keywork. What is less known is how amazing these play. Some may raise an eyebrow about the breakable glass - but then one shouldn't make a habit of dropping their instruments! Glass was chosen by Laurent as a superb engineering material for its dimensional stability and artistic possibilities. It still is and the artistic possibilities have exploded thanks to the modern Art Glass world, much of which is based in here in the Pacific Northwest
Also, please check out my new Blog at laurentflutes.substack.com I am writing and posting pictures almost daily about this and other projects.
UPDATED September 1, 2021: I am just a handful of flute projects away from catching up with my queue. After that I will simply make the flutes that I want to make which for now are these lovely glass flutes after the ones by Claude Laurent. I have figured out how to fund this adventure and thus will not be doing that run of Folk Flutes I previously mentioned. After 38 years of flute making and some 5000 flutes I could be done with wooden D flutes forever, but hope not.. I will need a break from grinding glass all day. If I find there is no market for the glass flutes, I will go back to wood. I will still be developing my low G "Deviant" flutes as well since an erginomic fute in that alto pitch doesn't yet exist.
If there is something you want or need, I can certainly add you to my waiting list. However, I will not take any deposits nor make any predictions as to when your flute would be finished. If and when I have the chance and am ready to make your flute, I will then contact you.
The Glass flutes after the historically important ones by Claude Laurent project is going very well. I now have the data I need to copy these, and am gathering tools and supplies. I will be using Diamond Disintegration Bits to bore out rods of glass and a large pantographic milling machine with diamond wheels to shape the outsides. The entire process has now been mapped out.
Note - some have incorrectly assumed that I am focusing on making these glass flutes specifically for the Irish flute community. I am not. Instead, these are something that I have wanted to make for years - and if successful, hope that the professional flute community will be interested in these. I actually have much support and interest by that community for this project, including a number of people on my waiting list. Unlike the great Baroque Flutes and other historical instruments that have been recreated by such great makers as my dear friend Rod Cameron, the Laurent Flutes have never been recreated. William Haynes who made some of the best 20th century Modern Flutes once attempted this using glass tubing developed by Bell Labs. He concluded that recreating these flutes was well nigh impossible. I hope to be the first persom since the 1840s to do this successfully - and hope to foster an entirely new modern aspect of flute making by reporting on and opensourcing my methods in the same way that Laurent opensourced his post mounted keys.
The most important piece of data that I collected this summer was the experience of finally playing a well preserved and restored instrument from 1816. This flute plays very much like the better London flutes of Prowse and Rudall from the 1840s. They also play like some of the best of my own flutes. This is actually not surpising once one recognizes the similarities in acoustically important details such as embouchure voicing and tone hole undercutting. Glass seems like a risky material - except how often would one risk a high end instrument by dropping it? This is simply avoided. Thus for Laurent this was a logical choice for material that was resistent to climate as well as shape changing. Finally the well-regarded new key system required by the glass. In major terms (acoustics, material, structure and aesthetics) Laurent was really a top maker. He was well recognized for his flutes by his comtemporaries.
I have culled other activities. I can stilll do key and tuning slide retrofuts as I promised this availability. Except for flutes still under warranty, I am no longer accepting any repair work exceot in rare circumstances. I suggest that you seek a local wind instrument specialist for simple repairs such as cracks. For worst case scenarios such as accidentally driving over your flute, having your dog chew it after oiling or sitting on it (yes - these things have happened) I will simply say "sorry, too bad!"
If you have questions about care and oiling, please read the care instructions posted at http://www.caseyburnsflutes.com/folkflutecare.pdf Realise that if you need further interpretation of these instructions and want me to clarify something, that you are probably overthinking it. You might want to simply see what the manufacturers of modern oboes and clarinets recommend. Its basically similar and your instrument will do well by their methods!
For now I am leaving up the old pages of my website as an archive. I will probably make significant changes to my websites as inventory is added and
Casey Burns D Flute Models: These are the "flutes du jour" - my standard flute models with three fingerhole spacing options and a Rudall-based flute option. These flutes can come with tuning slides and bands, as well as keywork. For more information click here.
The New 2015 Irish Flute Combo: My D flutes with tuning slides can also come with a package that allows one to play in several other keys besides D and G. Also available as a retrofit package for existing D Casey Burns Flute models with tuning slides. For more information click here.
Low Flutes: I make lower pitched flutes in the keys A, Bb, B and C. For more information, click here.