Hello!!! i saw that you are in uga, georgia athens? just wanted to confirm it myself. I am also at uga and a somewhat moderate ukulele player xD I absolutely love to play and learn new songs. i learned by ear myself so i wouldnt say i am too good o.o but uhh...yeah >.<
Hi Mike from Jen in Sydney Oz.
Got all excited watching that video - a visit to Mainland Ukes.
Had the joy of being there in June during my time at the UWC - got me my beautiful sporano.
Sorry there was nobody home the day you were there - was looking forward to stepping inside again.
Still, I love my Mainland - put together specially by hoosierhiver's wife Tookta
Ceramic and Wood ocarinas sound different.
Wood has a flutey, 'woody' appeal to the sound, whereas Ceramic ocarinas have a clearer, glassy quality to the sound.
Ceramic is the leading material for ocarinas, for historical reasons as well as practical (ocarinas are made by hand).
While wooden ocarinas have the advantage of being harder to break from dropping; they are susceptible to humidity and moisture issues as wooden ukes are.
Ceramic ocarinas are generally unaffected by moisture. As long as you don't drop them on hard surfaces, they are fine.
Here is a FAQ I made on various available ocarinas: http://theocarinanetwork.com/topic/6606758/1/ (I think you have to register as a member to view it)
There are more around, but that's a start. And I know that the ocarinas listed there are reliable quality
For ocarinas, I recommend sticking to the 12-hole ocarinas.
They are the most widespread, and rightly so for their versatility.
Next, I would recommend the "Alto C" tuning for starters.
It is the most popular range of notes.
The most common material for ocarina is ceramic.
A reliable, quality place to get some good ceramic ocarinas from is here: www.songbirdocarina.com
A 12-hole Alto C Focalink ocarina is a good place to start.
If you insist on getting a wooden ocarina, my recommendation is Woodsound.
If you scroll down, there are some ebony ocarinas there: http://www.maparam.kr/index.html?modea=eng
You can also email the maker on email@example.com to arrange for different woods to be used.
There are many other options, but I've stuck with the few I think are good, reliable choices.
If you want more options based on more preferences, I'll be glad to provide more info.