E Ray Smith

ER_Smith_1 Before I retired in 1999, I was in retail sales and management.  I had never made a musical instrument before making a Native American style flute. I made my first flute October of 2013.  My great grandson had a school project of making or helping to make a playable instrument when he returned from fall break.  As a result, he and I made a Native American style flute.

Having been a hobby woodworker for 30 plus years, I had all the equipment.  About a month later I made one for myself.  It did not play very well, but it did play.  Not having any musical background and unable to read music, I began three months of listening and studying the Native American Flute, along with experimenting with different ways of making the flutes that would sound better. After many hours of listening to well known artists on CD’s and the internet, and as my flutes got better, my family and friends encouraged me to show and sell my flutes.ER_Smith_2

I love working with wood and find that it relaxes me, as well as gives me a sense of accomplishment, creating something wonderful with my hands. This journey I am on, creating something that others can enjoy, is a spiritual thing.  I continue to try to improve my flutes with each one I make.

I am not of Native American decent, but I do respect the culture and the mellow sounds the first Native Americans made with these wonderful sounding flutes. My flutes can be seen at mingusmountainflutes.com.  Thank you for supporting Made in Clarkdale artists and show.