Archives for July 2009

Old looking New Shoe … For a Pipe!

Imagine if you will, a solid block of Cherry wood. Locked somewhere inside of this block, is a shoe. Not just any ordinary shoe, but a shoe meant to hold finely crafted smoking pipes.

At the end of the Chicago Pipe Show, this was my challenge. Create a pipe stand in the shape of an old shoe. Our best client had a plastic shoe pipe holder, and loved the way it looked.  The problem was that it was small to hold many of his pipes, and was made of plastic.  I was given this model to work from to create its wooden twin.

The model was an injection-molded piece originally made out of clay.

It portrayed an old sagging work shoe complete with laces, but I must say, it looked kind of cheap-e.

Settling on a beautiful block of cherry wood, my project began.  I started with the inside, drilling the center out to the point where a pipe would rest securely inside.  After that I worked my way to the outside.  It was a real challenge for me to carve this shoe; but still be my own creation. The details are what really made it come to life. I wanted the sole and heel of the shoe to look like leather.  I did this by cutting grooves into the heel, and then polishing it with a hard piece of leather.  The laces had to fall upon the surface naturally.  I let them be a lighter color, so they would add more interest to the surface.  The body of the shoe ended up showing off the cherry wood grain nicely.  It was a pleasure to carve something that lent itself to wood so well.

shoe #1shoe #2

As a carver I am always excited to work on commissions, they help me as an artist take myself out of the planning. The client has the vision.

It’s my job to make it come true. It helps me become technically better at carving, by forcing me to pay attention to every detail.

shoe #4

Jennifer Rinaldi

shoe #3

From The Bench

Last month I showed this horn shape nearing completion, well here it is!  Finished, a beautiful straight grain on the sides, with birds eye on the top and bottom.  The shank has an olive wood extension and the stem is ebonite.  I am extremely happy with the completed pipe.

Many freeform shape pipes don’t fit in regular pipe rests, I took note that many will try to lean the pipe on an object or lye it down only to have ashes spill onto the table.  With a horn shape pipe it is virtually impossible to do anything but lay it down.  So of course the answer is a pipe rest made specifically for the pipe, and here it is.

I will be offering the set for sale in a short time on our web site.  It has a western look with; I think a touch of formality.  The pipe rest is made of briarroot, the peg holding the stem is a briarwood branch, and the tamper is of olive wood, horn, Cumberland bands, and a brass foot.  As you can see the Olive wood on the tamper matches the olive wood extension on the pipe.  I thought it kind-a cool to have a hornpipe with a horn head on the tamper; also, it ties the pipe and pipe rest together. Click on each image for a larger view.

horn #1horn #3

horn #4horn #5

Jennifer is ready for the finishing of the shoe pipe holder she’s been working on.  It should be completed early this week and ready to mail to it owner.  She, had a great time with this interesting project I will post the finished shoe later this week.  Have a great 4th; we have much to be grateful for.

shoe #2shoe #3

shoe #1

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