The wood that I use for my flutes goes through a lengthy process of selection and seasoning. Boxwood is the main wood that I use for many of my models, as it has been in use for woodwind making in the West for at least a thousand years, if not more.
Boxwood is a slow-growing, tight grained wood with a lovely light yellow colour. Logs used for flute making should be of a considerable size, at least 7-8 cm in diameter, which means they would have been cut from a tree that was at least 80 years old. I like to be able to control the quality of wood I use and the seasoning process.

Ornamental rings

Most historical flutes were made with ivory or horn rings. These serve a double purpose: they reinforce the sockets, and, as the ivory is much stronger than the wood, it prevents the flute from cracking at this weak point. Ivory was, and still is, a very expensive material, and having flutes decorated with ivory transformed them from “tools” for making music to luxurious objects of art that stated their owner’s refined taste and affluence. Less expensive instruments, especially ones made during the second half of the 18th century, were also decorated with black horn rings.

When making modern replicas I use artificial ivory in order to give the instrument the elegant look of the originals, but as horn is still traded freely, I also offer flutes with a slightly different “look” which makes a nice contrast with un-stained or lightly stained boxwood instruments.
lengthy process of selection and seasoning
Controlling the quality of wood

About my instruments

How does one go about making a copy? My approach has always been that I only copy flutes that I have measured and documented myself, as some of the finer details of an instrument, such as voicing and undercutting, cannot be easily described in a technical drawing.

I often make silicon mouldings of the embouchure and tone holes of an original, and will try to use the same tools as the original maker used in order to get similarly shaped undercutting when creating a copy in the workshop.

However, making a good replica isn’t just about copying, as historical instruments will often have some degree of bore shrinkage or wood warping, which is almost unavoidable in an instrument aged 300 years or more.
When making a replica, one often has to make an educated guess about how to compensate for such changes. The main point for me, however, is to try and uncover the concept behind an original and the idea behind the voicing and tuning that the original maker would have had.
One of the most important things is to understand the musical context for each model and what it is was expected to do. I always try to get a chance to play the original before making a copy. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, as not all museums allow their instruments to be played, or when originals are not in playing condition. Luckily, I have been able to play all of the models I make. In many cases, it was love at first sight (or sound), and a few notes were enough for me to know that I would like to make a copy of this instrument. The models I choose are always instruments that appeal to me as a player.
Uncovering the concept behind an original
the appreciation of past makers’ craftsmanship

About me

I studied traverso at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague, with Wilbert Hazelzet. I began making flutes in 1994, after a one year apprenticeship with Peter van der Poel. In the years 1995-1998 I worked at the Gemeente Museum in The Hague, where I compiled a catalogue of the Baroque flutes in the collection, and undertook conservation work on various woodwinds. This was a wonderful opportunity to be in close contact with a relatively large collection of very interesting instruments and enabled me to appreciate the old makers' wonderful work at close hand. The first copies I made were of flutes found in this collection.

Apart from being a maker I also play traverso professionally as a member of several ensembles, performing music from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries on period instruments. This gives me first-hand experience with the instruments I make and enables me to experiment with the artistic qualities of the new models I make in a musical context.
One of the groups with which I work, The Modena Consort, is a renaissance traverso consort performing the repertoire of late fifteenth and sixteenth-century music. The group is composed of four flute players, including myself. This ensemble was and continues to be a helpful source for experimenting with the music and the instruments.

I have always been interested in the history of the flute and have been doing research about the instrument and its music for many years. Have a look at my publications page for some of the articles I published, as well as the blog section for the latest news from the workshop.

I have been living and working in Montréal, Québec (Canada) since 2009. I love the city’s vibrant atmosphere, and unique combination of European and North American cultures. I travel regularly to Europe and the US regularly for exhibitions, concerts and conferences.
The models I choose are always
originals that appeal to me as a player