About us - The Stellar Team
we are so very lucky to have a team of skilled artisans and top notch humans working with us to make this flute magic happen. We're so proud of our team!
Tom Stewart - Our Founder and Owner
Tom founded Stellar in 1995 when by a wonderful series of events he was introduced to the Native American Flute. The experience of making flutes, honing techniques, and creatively adding to the flute- making technology has been an engaging, arduous, and fulfilling task.
Lily Wilcox - Owner
Lily is " Stellar, the next generation." She can take a flute blank and turn it into a beautifully tuned and finished flute. She runs every aspect of the business from wood working to office management and is the star of all of our flute playing video tutorials.
Tim is our amazing flute finisher. Once flutes are shaped and tuned, he takes them to his shop where he carefully hand sands them and applies the varnish.
Tabitha is our wonderful office helper, working part time at Stellar and full time as a mother to her baby girl who joins us in the office to help with shipping and preparing flutes for the website.
Andrew "Wally" Walnum
Wally is our shop boss! He came to us with an extensive knowledge of woodworking . He mills all of the wood for making flutes and shares the flute lathe work with Lily and oversees our in shop employees.
Patty is a skilled seamstress, she works from home making our lovely carrying cases and delivering them to us.
Neva is our newest addition. She brings her skills as a detail oriented artist to our shop where she glues flute blanks, files fipples and prepares flutes for the lathe.
A Beautiful Documentary About Stellar Flutes
A Word about making Native American style flutes
My father and I are not Native American. Our ancestry is Scottish, Swedish, Wendish and more (in other words we are white). So let's talk a moment about what it means to make Native American style flutes.
Our flutes are not Native made. Out of respect we don't decorate them with artwork that is traditionally Native such as feather work, bead work or Native American symbols.
So, what does it mean to make Native American style flutes? It means we are making a kind of instrument that was invented by Native American and First Nation people. This style of flute is different from the traditional silver flute and other flutes because it has a two chamber design; the slow air chamber(SAC) and the main bore. These two chambers are connected with a third piece called a block which allows air to pass from the chamber you blow into up and across the opening (fipple hole) to the second chamber.
The modern Native American style flutes are made in this same way, but we now have access to electric tuners, and most people who make and sell this style of flute tune it to feature pentatonic minor scale.
We were lucky enough to have PBS shoot this wonderful documentary about our business and family. I f you want to learn a little more about who we are, give this a watch!