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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:56 am 
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no one is really making any significant effort to pass on the flute making craft to others


I don't agree with that, many flutemakers have 'apprentices' or assistants working for/with them who learn on the job. Na Piobairi Uilleann's Pipecraft venture in conjunction with Ballyfermot College of Further Education has a strand of flute/whistlemaking, coordinated by Paul McGrattan and taught by Hammy Hamilton.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:14 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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no one is really making any significant effort to pass on the flute making craft to others


I don't agree with that, many flutemakers have 'apprentices' or assistants working for/with them who learn on the job. Na Piobairi Uilleann's Pipecraft venture has a strand of flute/whistlemaking, coordinated by Paul McGrattan and taught by Hammy Hamilton.

That sounds like a great project. On the other hand, it may be easier to set up that kind of thing and find apprentices in Ireland, due to the relatively small size of the country, plus the focus on the music as a national cultural treasure.

We have a large population in the USA but it's spread out over a huge geographic area. And Irish music, while present, competes for interest with a great many other musical styles. No lack of guitar luthiers here, that's for sure! I assume a similar situation exists in Australia. Unless a flute maker gets lucky, or has a family member interested in carrying on the work, it's probably much harder to find an interested apprentice for this kind of instrument outside Ireland.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:27 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
Future makers? Jon Walpole. You may know him as "paddler" on these forums. I have one of his flutes and his stuff will stand in the line with any of the top makers. Keep an eye on him.


Interesting, Geoffrey. I haven't seen his flutes, but have been keeping an eye on this Paddler fellow. The curiosity strong in this one is. Maintain supervision. Don't let him suspect anything.....


He's not one to self-promote so I'm sort of tooting his horn for him. I've worked with Jon for the last six years on flute stuff and even wrote a blog about our collaboration (you get mentioned as well, Terry :-). )

https://www.ellisflutes.com/blog/two-heads-are-better-than-one

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:38 am 
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On the other hand,


I was addressing the 'no one is making a significant effort'.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:47 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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no one is really making any significant effort to pass on the flute making craft to others


I don't agree with that, many flutemakers have 'apprentices' or assistants working for/with them who learn on the job. Na Piobairi Uilleann's Pipecraft venture has a strand of flute/whistlemaking, coordinated by Paul McGrattan.


I understand what you’re saying, but “apprentices” these days are typically paid help, often only doing things rough work and repairs, never fully trained in skills or knowledge. Even for those that may be fully trained, where are they? Where are the flutes? And lets not give examples of pipe makers, who do seem to be more giving of their knowledge than flute makers.

Certainly there are current flute makers who apprenticed: My understanding is that Grinter (RIP) worked for Fred Morgan (recorder maker, RIP), while both Seth Gallagher (now retired) and Bryan Byrne worked at Von Huene. Chris Norman was mentored by....Rod Cameron was it? A lot of recorder makers and some pipe makers I believe have taught people who went on to make flutes of our sort.

Forbes Christie worked for well known Boehm flute makers prior to starting Windward.

Maurice Reviol went to a formal woodwind school in the U.K. I think?

And so on, point being, most of the flutemakers producing quality instruments today gleaned their knowledge either on their own or through working for makers of instruments other than the simple system flutes we play.

More than that, my original point about teaching was not to do with “apprenticeship” opportunities which are limited to non-existent, but rather publicly available tuition by today’s masters, in the way Fine Boxmaker Andrew Crawford passes on his knowledge and processes via classes in his own shop or, alternately the way many top craftsman in other areas travel to othe shop locations to teach weekend or week long classes and so forth.

With regards to the pipecraft venture, that sounds like a good thing, but again, not quite what I’m talking about until the Hammy’s, and Wilkes, and Murray’s etc., start showing up there and sharing their insights and processes. Perhaps they already have done and I just haven’t heard about it. Certainly that sort of thing would be ideal, and what I’m getting at.

Otherwise, I just don’t see the broad scale public and in-person sharing of hard skills and knowledge by today’s acknowledged experts in the area of simple system flutes. Other arts and crafts don’t seem to have this problem. I think I know many of the reasons why, but I’ve ready written plenty.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:00 am 
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With regards to the pipecraft venture, that sounds like a good thing, but again, not quite what I’m talking about until the Hammy’s, and Wilkes, and Murray’s etc., start showing up there and sharing their insights and processes. Perhaps they already have done and I just haven’t heard about it


I did write Hammy is the principal teacher there. If the pipemaking course, that I am more familiar with, is anything to go by, makers turning up to show what they do, is exactly what is happening there.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:17 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
With regards to the pipecraft venture, that sounds like a good thing, but again, not quite what I’m talking about until the Hammy’s, and Wilkes, and Murray’s etc., start showing up there and sharing their insights and processes. Perhaps they already have done and I just haven’t heard about it


I did write Hammy is the principal teacher there. If the pipemaking course, that I am more familiar with, is anything to go by, makers turning up to show what they do, is exactly what is happening there.


My mistake, I was rushing to get out the door for a run before work and somehow missed Hammy’s name there at the end. Good on him, that’s exactly what we need more of.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:58 am 
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Individual apprenticeships are fraught with complications and perhaps that is why they are rare (though not unheard of).

A school of some type would be the ideal. I considered going to Cambridge Woodwind Makers school in the U.K. at one point. An interested person could sign up for short classes or a two week immersion program. It looked pretty cool (I was interested in clarinet making at the time). But it was a big commitment and I didn't act upon it due to time constraints.

I don't know if anything like that exists with a strong focus on wooden flutes, nor do I know how much interest there would be to justify it's existence. Any time you have a school at a fixed location you face the issue of cost. People have to travel, find accommodations, pay tuition, etc.. It can be expensive. And then who teaches? One maker? More than one?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:44 am 
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I don't know if anything like that exists with a strong focus on wooden flutes, nor do I know how much interest there would be to justify it's existence.



As per the subject of the previous posts on this thread:

BCFE, flute, whistle and pipemaking courses

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:00 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Quote:
I don't know if anything like that exists with a strong focus on wooden flutes, nor do I know how much interest there would be to justify it's existence.



As per the subject of the previous posts on this thread:

BCFE, flute, whistle and pipemaking courses


Whoops! Missed that post--thanks for the link!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Regarding flute making there are woodwind making, and woodwind repair courses available in Newark, Notts.

https://www.lincolncollege.ac.uk/course ... nd-repair/

The uilleann pipe and flute maker, Dave Williams, started off leaning his craft at this school, 1975-1977 I believe.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:09 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:


"The aim of this unique programme is to cater for a skills shortage within the traditional music community in terms of instrument making..."

Heh heh, I wonder if we do have a skills shortage? (Globally, not personally!) How would we know? I guess ballooning waiting times might be an answer? We need to consult the Global-new-flute-waiting-time-meter. Who's looking after that these days?

Not quibbling with the notion of the course. It would have been handy if they had been running it back in 1970's when we all sat around individually looking at old flutes working out how they were made! And, given the new resources* available to us, how might they be better made.

*like that new-fangled electricity stuff. Check out the treadle lathes in the 1922 images from the Rudall Carte workshop and wonder what their workshops looked like back in the early 19th century!

http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/RC_Wshop1922.htm


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:54 pm 
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Also, don't forget that Patrick Olwell is training (or has trained) Aaron to carry his flutes forward. AFAIK, Aaron made my entire keyed boxwood flute. I don't know this for a fact; Pat may have put the final touches on the embouchure or something, but my flute was obviously Aaron's baby.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:36 pm 
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Terry McGee wrote:
Mr.Gumby wrote:

*like that new-fangled electricity stuff. Check out the treadle lathes in the 1922 images from the Rudall Carte workshop and wonder what their workshops looked like back in the early 19th century!
http://www.mcgee-flutes.com/RC_Wshop1922.htm



Oh, boy! I love that workshop :-) The HUGE windows and the wonderful natural light! Now I resent my florescent lit cave.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:10 pm 
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Yep, love the windows, and it looks like they really depend on them - there isn't much sign of other lighting. From memory, Berners St runs pretty much north-south, so those windows would face approximately east and west.

I do wonder what they did on a very overcast early morning or late afternoon in winter.

"Can we afford a second candle, Mr Carte?"


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