Reeds, Christmastime, and more.

December 18, 2009

I’ve been scraping away at about an average of 10 reeds a day, which is probably the most I’ve ever scraped in my life. The good news is I’m probably making the finest reeds I’ve ever made. Perhaps it’s vacation. My former teacher Mr. Stolper used to always say that he could always make the best reeds when he was relaxed and wasn’t making reeds for something specific. Unfortunately, usually when you’re making reeds it’s for something very specific!

Since I sent out my “reed subscription” policies, I think I’ve scared customers away, because instead of receiving daily orders like I was previously, they trickle in very slowly. This is good news because I am finally making progress catching up on my orders. The bad news is when I catch up, I don’t want to be sitting around waiting for new orders to come in!

This is my third year of making reeds commercially, and still my first year with a website where orders can come in via paypal (I launched my current website last February.) I’m still learning the “trends” of orders, and while I knew the summer would be slow, I didn’t know that Thanksgiving/Christmas time would be so busy! It seems like everyone and their cousin had some Christmas/Holiday concert that they were ordering reeds for. Between November 10-November 30 I received orders for a total of 60 reeds, which was awful timing because I did a recital December 3rd and was busy enough with that as it was. Next year, I need to make reeds before the holiday season so that I don’t get as swamped as I did, and not schedule a recital in the middle of the season.

Last weekend I played the Nutcracker with the Phoenix Symphony. Unfortunately, it went horribly wrong. I borrowed an English Horn, and the day before I was supposed to play, it cracked. That send me searching for another horn to borrow, and I did find one, but it wasn’t in good shape and I ended up cracking every note below low D. I’m ending up spending more on the crack job than I made that weekend, and I left with a bruised ego and an obliterated reputation. This weekend, I’m playing with Phoenix again, but I have found yet another English Horn which plays fantastically, and I hope to redeem myself. Ah… the Christmas time drama.

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