Before there were online doublereed supply houses – before American oboe giants such as John Mack had his name attached to a specific shaper model, oboists had few options of shapers to use. There were a few American oboists who also were machinist. Wally Bhosys (formerly of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) learned how to fashion shaper tips. This is how I acquired my first shaper. Engelbert Brenner loaned me a backup shaper tip to send to Bhosys. The resulting copy was a decent shaper which I used for years. After Brenner’s death, I inherited all of his reed-making equipment. Here is a picture of the collection. Absolutely none are stamped with a ‘maker’s mark’, so I can only report that many (with the old, short handles) were French-made, and many were probably ‘tweaked’ by either A. Wales or Wally Bhosys. I have been using both the oboe & English horn shape that Brenner used in the latter part of his career since 1986, when they became part of my studio.
oboe shapers everywhere!24 04 2007