Chris Wilkes has been a full time flute maker for over 34 years. He became interested in instrument making upon meeting John Addison, a wonderful craftsman who made Northumbrian bagpipes. Chris had been playing Highland pipes from the age of ten and had become interested in other pipes from Northumbria and Ireland.
After visiting John Adddison's workshop a few times, Chris quit his job and started a new path, one that would lead to a foundation course in Art at Hereford and then a Degree in three dimensional design at Bristol.
During this time Chris was working on his piping. He played in several local bands and through them met Nidge Dyer, a flute dealer living in Bath. Nidge introduced Chris to many 19th century flutes and especially the superb flutes of Rudall and Rose. After college, Chris decided to have a try at making flutes with the help of Kevin Crawford with whom he was busking.
Each flute that Chris makes is crafted to the highest standard possible. The flutes have to be beautiful and play easily. The keys and body ergonomic, and the whole contrivance to stand the test of time. To this end he endeavours to make everything from raw materials, from the screws and tubes to keys, rings and tooling. He has measured and played hundreds of old Rudalls and other quality flutes, to take their best qualities and combine them into something new. He is always learning.
In this Website Chris will endeavour to show a portal into his workshop, his flutes and some of the methods that he uses. It is an ongoing project and eventually intended to be a resource for players and makers. Also, he will be selling some of his own personal historic flutes and selected instruments belonging to others.