Reed Tips

Reed Journal

Many people over the years have asked about reed journals. After speaking with and seeing many friends and colleagues journals I am hoping to help those wanting to create one get started with this very first blog post.

First, get a fabulous journal. I use Moleskins that I get at Costco in multipacks. These last forever, write well, and travel light. I also like to collect journals from my travels. This way I have a useful gift to myself to remember a location I have visited that I will have for the rest of my life.

Left, Moleskin Right, Leather Journal from Cortona, Italy…I like red.

Left, Moleskin Right, Leather Journal from Cortona, Italy…I like red.



Gather your thoughts on why you are creating a reed journal. For myself, I want to know the date I set the batch of reeds aside to rest, the cane used, what I did special to the cane (bevel, no bevel, internal scraping, used a special technique in forming, etc).

As you can see from the picture above, my notes are all quite similar and not a reed-by-reed style since I make reeds in large batches (usually 10-50 reeds per batch).

Third, Label your reeds! I use Sharpies and Sakura Manga pens. I find that these two last the longest on the bark of cane and the Sakura pens don’t bleed as much as the Sharpies. Dating reeds helps identify when they were made, so you can refer back to your journal.

Make sure to leave space in your journal to take notes on the reeds when you clip the tips and make a finished reed. The point of the journal is to compare, contrast; see what works, and what doesn’t work.

Take pictures! We live in a digital age. Keeping a digital journal for reed making can be difficult, but taking pictures and making notes about what you see in the photo is a great reference! I love taking short videos of myself during the reed making process so I can see how I did a certain step (as an experiment), that way I can recreate it at a later date.

This is basic. Super simple. But I know from experience, it can be stressful to begin a journal like this. Once you start it, it is super easy, and more helpful than one can imagine.

Good luck!