Archives for June 2009

Update from the bench

A quick up-date from the bench, first I am coming into the completion stage of a horn shape that has an extraordinary straight and birds eye. Lasse Skovgaad Jorgensen picked out this block of briar for me at the Chicago show. He said it would make a great horn shape, I hope I am doing this block justice. I just sent him these images; I have the greatest respect for him, and his honest criticism.

Jennifer is also in the process of completing a shoe pipe holder; Yes a shoe. It is a commission for a customer. The darker shoe is of plastic, he wanted it carved in wood. The wood we are using is Cherry.

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A look at the bench

It sure feels good to be back to work; well, not really work.  At this stage of my pipe-making career it is truly an enjoyment and expression in an art form that has so much reward.  At the Chicago show this year we met so many new people and spent good time with clients.  I say clients, but with the great time together I can say friends.  I also had a very special surprise when all of a sudden as I looked up from behind my table; there was Paul, a friend for many years that flew in from New Jersey.  Paul and I go back about forty years, I always remember him as a pipe smoker long before I took up the hobby.  I haven’t seen him in about ten years; it sure was great to spend some time together.  I know I will see him at the December 5th. NY show. This sure was rewarding.

I have three pipes in the works, one is a two knuckle bamboo shank Billiard shape bowl, might be a combo rustication smooth, we’ll see when I start to carve.  The second is a classic Cutty with a new terracotta color ebonite stem, looks like a very nice grain pattern.  The third is a ½ bent apple with a beautifully grained piece of ivory.  So far the briar block looks very, very nice, we will see.  Jennifer will be busy with three commissioned pipe stands; one will be made out of cedar.  We just go in two very nice pieces you can see in the image.  I also have a commission to create a very large, long pipe that will have my clients family crest carved on the front part of the bowl.  I picked up a very large piece of Italian briar at the show it is 11″ a giant of a block I will also add a few inches with an extension of horn to the shank, a very interesting project.  As I start this one I will keep you informed with images from start to finish.

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Progress  report; after a days work on this bamboo shank, I am very pleased at the final shape.  The walls have a nice thickness, the stem  is a perfect fit and is cut thin, and the width is just right.  This will make a very acceptable smooth, however, with the grain pattern I know it will make a supper blast. The rim is birds eye and will be kept smooth.  I will work on the blasting tomorrow and add more images, you can compare, and lets see if I am right.
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Well, as I said yesterday, I thought this bamboo would make a great sandblasted pipe.  What do you think?  Do I get thumbs up or down?  How about the color?  All that’s left is the stamping and carbonized bowl coating.  It will be added to the site this week. If interested send me an email or call.

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Completed

We just completed this commissioned pipe rest for a good client.  As you can see it has a rustic, western look to it.  Living in Arizona this is a piece of our native ironwood.  Before moving to the Tucson area we lived in an area north from here, Rio Verdi.  We had a small ranch on the Tonto National forest.  Many years ago, a raging fire burnt a good portion of the forest, leaving behind many scorched ironwood trees.  Jennie and I would ride our horses in the forest that has now re-vegetated but would find many dead ironwood trees.  As I started to get interested in pipe making, and Jennie had an interest in woodcarving, we thought we would try to bring life back to these beautiful trees.  So, out came the chainsaw and we had a nice collection of this wonderful wood.  You can see many of the ironwood pipe rest on our web site.  This client has one of my pipes that is accented with a band of Zebrawood; he wanted a rest that would match it.  The peg that holds the shank is antler with a tip of zebrawood.  The antler has a perfect arm extended to hold the shank.  The tamper is briar with two bands of marbleized ebonite and a head of zebrawood. All that is left is to have it inscribed, and this rest will be in his den.  We are in the process of making two more custom pipe rest of wood for clients, when completed I will post them.  We also just added to our site the acrylic pipes rest that can be personalized in a variety of ways, we are excited about our new rest, take a look, we would love to have your comment on them.

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