My life and business is much like a balancing act. Most of the factors determining true balance are completely out of my control as I design and build custom trumpets to your specifications. My clients are essentially in control of how much I work, the level of difficulty and even when I perform the wide variety of steps necessary to complete a custom trumpet.
This is probably the opposite of what many perceive. I work alone so there are few witnesses to my daily, weekly and monthly accomplishments. But with every success, I have often overcome some moderate to difficult challenges. This is true of every trumpet order. Despite having some very high end software, machinery and years of experience, every single order is challenging with more steps than you may first imagine are possible.
I am devoting another entry to the topic of patience simply due to the fact that a few of my past clients have been incredibly selfish and inconsiderate. There are people in this world who have the attitude that their needs supersede all of my other clients. The, "I want everything and I want it now" approach to dealing with custom makers (of anything) is lacking in humility, respect and dignity. Yes, I am here working for each and every client, but I am in no way encouraged to put my heart into a project when there are a multitude of unique specifications combined with short and hard deadlines based on perceived need.
For some people, I believe patience is probably the missing element standing between potential happiness and their unmet needs. I did not learn to build trumpets in a day just like I didn't learn to play trumpet quickly. I have devoted in excess of 70,000 hours to the subject of trumpet design, manufacture and performance. This is more than working a full time job for 30 years. Drawing on my experience as an engineer, fabricator, machinist, performer, educator and businessman, I can tell you one thing for sure. If you ask me to do something that has never been done, I cannot tell you how much time is required to complete the task. There is no way to determine the future when the variables are unknown.
I work on the timeline established by reality and this cannot be changed based on perceived needs of upcoming events. If your birthday is in five months and you want to order a custom art trumpet featuring all of your favorite musicians' names with engraving throughout, a new finger ring profile you sketched on a napkin and unique hand carved trim parts, then I'm happy to work with you to make this a reality. But you will likely receive your trumpet one year later than expected. There really is nothing I can do to change this fact as there is only one of me making trumpets for over two hundred clients each year.
The process of designing and building completely new components may sound easy. But in reality, a full art trumpet usually requires several weeks of design and machining work, which is done in short shifts between other trumpet builds. This is due to the fact that my vision of computer screens is quite limited. I was born with one carotid artery feeding blood to my brain rather than the normal two arteries. My visual cortex is literally starved of oxygen and nutrients on a regular basis limiting my intake of images and motion. This is also why I prefer to play below double high C as the internal psi produced when playing high notes does limit the blood supply to my brain even further!
In contrast, if you really want a new custom trumpet in five months you could order a Summit complete with your choice of leadpipe, bell, tuning slide, AGR, your name milled into the bracing, trim kit style and weight, finger ring style and positioning, water keys, finger button inlays and finish. There are a lot of options available to those wishing to be on the shorter end of delivery dates and in the grand scheme of things, five months is relatively fast.
The realities of producing what you have in your mind coupled with my skills and capacity will result in a truly rewarding experience, if you only give me time. Ordering the latest design after seeing the first prototype is a lot of fun, but keep in mind that anything new will require a great deal of work on the back end. It is not uncommon for a new design to go into production 1 to 2 years after the prototyping process has begun. If this seems like a lot of time, then consider that I do in fact make everything myself.
If you're in a hurry to get a new custom trumpet, I sincerely suggest you consider the following;
In contrast, the following will definitely require more time;
I enjoy designing and building beautiful instruments while sharing vision with each of my clients. I love working with trumpet players from all walks of life and I consider myself to be very fortunate. Together, we can create your trumpet designed with every detail you have imagined. Your trumpet could potentially last many lifetimes, so please give me 5 to 18 months to make it a reality.