Walton area residents craft melodic bamboo flutes

December 6, 2011

True Grass Flutes. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Homegrown natural elements used in True Grass Flutes

There’s nothing better than enjoying something special that is home grown here in Walton County. We are fortunate to have many great local farmers and artists in our area who offer great products. One cool local cottage industry is True Grass Flutes in DeFuniak Springs.

Tommie Gipson of True Grass Flutes enjoys spending time outdoors kayaking, bike riding and playing his hand crafted bamboo flutes. The DeFuniak Springs resident enjoys the flute so much he plays every morning before heading to work at his full time job at CHELCO.

“It always makes the day better,” Gipson said.

In his spare time, Gipson crafts melodic bamboo flutes. What started as a fun pastime playing a recorder several years ago, evolved into a flute playing passion. Wanting to share his enthusiasm, Gipson started searching for affordable ways to introduce his friends to the instrument, and discovered a company that sold bamboo flutes. After purchasing a few he began to fabricate flutes himself, then sharing his creations with friends and family.

Tommie Gipson plays one of his handcrafted flutes. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

The passion soon grew, and True Grass Flutes was formed. The business is a partnership between Gipson and friend Sinder Perring. According to Gipson, Perring was reluctant to play the flute, however, it didn’t take long before she shared his enthusiasm and became a proficient flute player.

After tinkering with several different ideas, Gipson and Perring worked out a perfect partnership with Gipson fabricating, and Perring doing the finishing work on the flutes. The pair uses two varieties of bamboo, and each flute creates its own unique sound. One style produces a sound similar to the bellowing baritone of a saxophone.

Gipson takes pride in the fact the flutes are fabricated with natural elements. All of the bamboo used by True Grass is grown in the Walton County area.

True Grass flutes are affordable with prices starting at $25.

True Grass Flutes also offers whistles, walking sticks, along with bags and flute stands crafted by Tommie’s wife Kathy.

For more information, go to tgflutes.com or contact them via email at: tg@tgflutes.com