This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Jul 9, 2012

Bocarina part VII : Experiments 1

When I fell in love with the Bocarinas, I was a bit disappointed there were so few colors available. Oh, I understood Chris Schuermans arguments: fabrication, cost, market... And I even made a color study with a poll among my architects and engineers students, for a result very near the actual 5 color choice. They answered 5 colors would be the best compromise between choice and market, and asked for black, blue, red, orange and pink... ! But they also were interested in bright and flashy colors, even fluo.

On my side I had in mind the hypnotic marbleized or swirled patterns of the back of my vintage plastic ukuleles...

So, I asked Chris Schuermans if it was possible to make such psychedelic nose flutes. He answered me it was very difficult because, with the injection machines and the ABS plastic, the colored pellets would mix and produce a plain and uniform blend. Only a few, he added, present such uncontrollable effect, when they pass from the production of one color to another one, at the factory.

But he also added that he would ask the plastic injection company foremen to keep such samples when they produce the next batch of Bocarinas. Unfortunately, the people at the factory forgot the request, and the swirled flutes were thrown away, as rejects.

Mr. Chris Schuermans is more than a gentleman. He is a generous friend. He asked the pigment companies for some samples, and launched an experimental batch at the plastic factory... just to please me! And the results — that he sent me as gifts – are simply stunning! New plain colors, but also incredibly swirled two-tones Bocarinas! Beau-ti-ful! Thank you a lot!

As you can see, new plain colors were produced, some very pastel, and some totally fluo! And at the top of the beauty : the swirled ones. They are so beautiful and unique, that I gave them little names... Let's take a tour !

Here is my Stingray :

Look at this one, the Malachite Boccy! :

Pure fluo, and hardly marbleized :

The Black Mamba is gorgeous... :

Sorry, I called this one Too Much Red Wine :

Ultra Brite and Cow Horn :

And for sure, I love my Scallop :

There is a pattern that often appears on the swirled Bocarinas. It is certainly due to the injection mode and the way colors mix from the injection point. It's a ghost shape which appears on the front, just below the mouth hole, like. It looks a bit like the PI character or an angel:

This last but not least one was kept by Chris Schuermans (Hum... I don't know if I can allow that! :)). I think he should call him Orca :


On the same topic, you can read :

Bocarina part I : A South African Ferrari
Bocarina part II : The clay original
Bocarina part III : A player's report - by Birdy K.
Bocarina part IV : Chris Schuermans' interview
Bocarina part V : The Ones you'll never have...
Bocarina part VI : The Ancestors
Bocarina part VII : Experiments 1
Bocarina part VII : Experiments 2


Where to get a Bocarina

Brionski Ebay store
Dan Moi online shop
Grothmusic online shop

And for larger quantities, for sure :

Chris Schuermans
95 Farnham Rd. Lynnwood Manor
Pretoria, 0081 RSA (South Africa)

Cell phone no. +27 83 954 3224
Telephone no. +27 12 361 4659,

email : chris[at]schuermans[dot]org



  1. This is absolutely amazing: so wonderful to see how much one person can contribute to the nose flute! Not only is the new design of this ancient instrument truly inspiring, but these new colours are really remarkable as well!

    Great stuff and a joy to watch! Also, again such a smart photo collage!

    1. Thank you! yes, Mr. Schuermans did (and does) a wonderful work ... And being in contact with him is a great luck!

  2. Thank you Antoine. Superb photography and kind words.

  3. As I've come to look at it, the 'ghost' or 'pi'-mark just under the labium really reminds me of an extracted tooth!!! I don't know what this tells about me... Anyway, I just made a new appointment with my dentist today.

    The Orca also is right out of this world. Incredible how the most interesting ones colour-wise are so easily discarded, as they don't match set criteria... hope they will be saved next time!!!

    1. Hahaha! I first wrote it looks like a molar, then I erased it. Good luck with your dentist :)

      The problem with the most interesting ones is that they are rare and cannot be reproduced... And this doesn't fit with industry and market...

      All the best,


  4. Great additions to your collection!

    I believe keeping prototypes or designs that did not go into production is a good idea for many reasons: history, value, inspiration for new designs, etc.

    In the 1970's, my father had a small ceramics shop. I still keep some of his work, my favorite coffee mug was made as a color sample, never in production. He gave it to me without thinking much about it. Today I really appreciate it and enjoy using it. I fear that I may drop it and break it, but I don't want to just put it away.

    I wish I had known about nose flutes at the time, my dad could have made some nice ones.

    By the way, I have just ordered bocarinas in standard colors (black, red, blue).


    1. Luis, you'll love the Bocarinas... really the best plastic nose flutes (despite Mr. Mei's opinion :))


  5. Absolutely, Luis, couldn't agree more. These prototypes also tell such a great deal about the process, which I always love to trace.

    I am quite sure your dad would have made some fine and unique nose flutes.

    It's good to see so many fine craftsmen giving their take on the instrument today, in so many different varieties and materials. I particularly love those ceramic and wooden ones coming from Japan these days.

    1. Japan is incredibly creative... All those shapes and materials ... Europe must wake up!!! Thanks to Chris Schuermans, South Africa has its word to say, and not the least!