Who am I?
I'm Richard Hamlett, and I make and play transverse style ocarinas. My goal is to provide a professional concert quality ocarina at an affordable price.
I personally make all of the ocarinas that appear on this site, one at a time. I don't maintain a stock of pre-made ocarinas on a shelf somewhere, instead, I make each ocarina as it is ordered by a customer. I would simply rather make an instrument for a real and individual person than try and churn out a stock of ocarinas hoping for quick sales. That's why they are seldom any ocarinas in stock on the web site.
How can I work like that and still stay in business? Well, that easy. This is not a business, it's a passion. I don't make ocarinas to pay the bills. I have a real job for all that boring stuff. I make ocarinas because I love the instrument, I love crafting things with my hands, and I love sharing music with other people.
I first started playing ocarinas a few years ago and have tried several different kinds. I quickly became a little disappointed at the inconsistent and marginal quality of many of these instruments that were being sold at prices higher than what I thought they were worth. I set out to make my own ocarina with the goal of surpassing the quality of many of the higher priced instruments available. It's taken a while, but I believe that my ocarinas rival instruments that cost many times what mine do.
What is an ocarina anyway?
An ocarina is a type of vessel flute, usually made from ceramic, stoneware or porcelain. The modern ocarina originated in Italy in 1800's, but has become quite popular in Asian cultures within the last twenty years. Asian style transverse ocarinas differ slightly from their Italian counterparts in both tuning and form, usually having a slighlty extended range and generally lower breath requirements. Hamlett ocarinas follow the Asian style and are accurately tuned to concert pitch.
I currently offer a range of single chamber ocarinas, but I hope to expand soon to offer multi-chamber ocarinas.