Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Reed Desk

My reed desk is starting to fill up with blanks. I get a lot of questions about how to get good reeds from your reed making.

Assuming proper tools and good workmanship, when dealing with cane we are ultimately faced with the predestination of botany.

It is indeed humbling to admit that, after decades of research and effort, I still make some reeds that will never be usable. I've spent a lot of time in this blog and on my website and in countless lessons with students sharing my wisdom about reed making.

However, I have to admit (as we all should) that often your efforts are defeated by poor cane quality. Even with the methods I use for cane selection, there are still factors in the cane that elude my eye.

So, when someone asks me how I ensure that I always have a few presentable reeds in my box, I give the following advice:

1. Never rely upon one source of cane for good reeds.
2. Keep a stock cane from at least three different sources at all times.
3. Always have blanks available from several different cane sources.
4. Leave them on your drying rack for at least two weeks -- longer will yield more good reeds.
5. Fill your reed case with reeds from these different sources.
6. Rotate your reeds for day-to-day use.

1 comment:

  1. You forgot #7 - Cross your fingers and pray for the best :-)

    Would you mind answering one question about your reed style? What are the measurements you recommend to set up a profile? Specifically thickness at the collar and at the fold.

    Hope you're doing well!
    Derek Bannasch