I began my journey as a flute player over two decades ago. It was not long after that I began to construct my own flutes out of bamboo or whatever material was at hand, thus initiating my life as a flute maker.
Through fortunate circumstances I was guided by many talented flute makers throughout my life, most notably Louis Webster. It was through his expertise and the gracious gift of his tools and woods that I found the greatest inspiration.
It would come as no surprise that
his style of building flutes has been
very influential on my one.
I also take note of the past as well.
I have made painstaking efforts to go
around to private collections and museums
to take detailed measurements in order to
help recreate a sound that is being lost to the modernization of the instrument. Traditionally
the flute was inseparable from the voice in that
it was able to reproduce sung music. As a result,
my flutes are designed in a way to help recreate
the qualities of the human voice. Much like the
human voice, each one of my flutes has its
own unique voice.
The four elements often are applied to our understanding of nature, music also has its unique set of them.
Rhythm is one of those important elements. From our earliest moments our heart beats like a drum and instills this into our
being. Drums are a very unique extension of this and as a result I take their construction very seriously.
Much like my approach to flute making, I tend to shy I away from modernity and look to the past for inspiration. I also take into consideration of how each drum
will have its own unique set of tones that it is capable of and I seek to bring that out.
By using solid cedar wood for the shells and avoiding highly processed skins, it is possible for the natural materials to retain their voice. I am constantly aware of the fact that the heart of the drum, the skin, was provided by an animal.
As a result, I make every effort to honor that animal and in a way create an homage in the form of a drum. However, the drum is so much more than one word. It is the heartbeat of music, a tool for healing, and a means of carrying the mind to other worlds.
Not surprisingly, I have always maintained an interest in the visual arts. In middle school I was made aware of pisanki. I quickly was captured by the intricacy and bold colors of these eggs. Fortunately, a local pisanki artist kindly helped me find the appropriate tools and gave me valuable advice as a started making my very own eggs. I've evolved a lot as a pisanki artist and in recent years my main interests are in the relatively simple eggs of a region of Podlasie. I also enjoy making what are referred to as drop-pull method eggs, and drapanki, the later of which are created by scratching the surface of the eggs. Recently I have been trying to revive pisanki designs from Kaszuby, the region from which I get my last name.
In recent years, I have come full circle and have moved to my roots. My first musical memory is that of polka music in my parents' car. Not surprisingly the concertina and accordion are two of my favorite instruments to play. As a third generation Polish American and a Wisconsin native, I'm honored to keep polka music alive for one more generation. I also have a deep interest in the Great Lakes and its indigenous flute traditions. I craft and play these flutes paying careful attention to the foundation lain before me. I still maintain an interest and occasionally dabble in other instruments and traditions. As a global citizen it is hard not to be amazed and captivated by the music that surrounds us.
My first memories are memories of music. I have been on many musical journeys, all of which have had a unique influence. One of the most important influences has been that of the music of the Indian subcontinent. I discovered the sitar very early on and was immediately determined to acquire and learn the instrument. Although I no longer play the instrument, it opened up a portal to the world and made me aware of just how diverse the world's music and instruments are. The discovery of this also brought me into contact with the associated cultures that are inseparable for these genres of music. I've found myself a student of many instruments, arts and cultures.
Due to the unique nature of my products it is difficult to maintain an online inventory at this time. Please contact me to check current availability or to commision a new flute, drum, or pisanka.