Gifted to my Brother in-law:
'Dress Black Pipes," a phrase I believe coined by Dunhill, refers to a deeply black pipe, or in there case with reddish undertones. It is also considered more formal a pipe for "dressier" occasions.
Unfortuneatley in more recent years it has been negatively associated with pipes made of lessor qualtiy briar. Not always true. I like Black pipes which is why I started the Raven Series, and made the "Blackfriar" for myself.
True the briar wasn't of the finest quality, but is in now way inferior. and, neither would I be crazy enough to stain a straight grain black, but please enjoy them for there awesom finish. The "Blackfriar" didn't end up as deeply black as I wanted so I researched staining on pipemakersforum.com and learned the following about stains:
These facts will be put into practice on this pipe (701TM) and 702TM, and everyother black pipe hereafter.
I finished coat one on 01TM today. Remeber, this pipe is spoken for and will not be offered for sale.
Since I took the night off to attend the SHPC meeting, I thought this would be a good opportunity to reprint an article I wrote for the December newsletter as it received favorable reviews:
Husdson Valley Pipe Clubs Holiday Extravaganza and
The Northeast Regional Pipe Smoking Contest
My first annual pilgrimage to the Hudson Valley Holiday Extravaganza and Pipe Smoking Contest certainly lived up to my expectations. It was held at the S. M. Frank & Company, manufacturers of Kaywoodie, Yello-Bole and Medico brand, in Peeksill NY. After hours of driving we stopped at the I-84 Diner for brunch. With only thirty minutes of driving to go, I was excited to get there. Apparently not as excited as Dock, Steve as they passed us on the highway hell bent on Peekskill, obviously anxious to be the first of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Smokers to arrive.
Clearing out of the diner took some time as we all had separate checks, but probably not as long if we had to figure out who owed what. While I was waiting I was speaking with a woman who was giving free "tattoos." Actually she was painting faces for the kids. Being a big kid, I wanted one and asked her if she ever heard of Sherlock Holmes and the case of the Rose Tattoo. She distracted me with a comment that I "had the face of a Pastor ." So instead of getting my face painted, I introduced to her my congregation: Mark, Tim, Eric, Tony, Rick, Nelson, Ken, Dock, and Greg.
I was a little concerned as we left the parking lot each headed different directions. Not a good sign, I thought. Some went for gas, others for beer, and Nelson and I , for both. We all met up again at the factory, the room all ready filled with pipe smoke, friends, and an air or camaraderie. It was also littered with pipes: pipes on display, pipes for sale, and pipes for smoking. It was a bit overwhelming for me, "the new guy."
My low budget helped to curb my enthusiasm for new pipe stuff, and focus an what was important, time well with friends. As an aspiring pipemaker, it was also exciting for me to rub elbows with some of the finest pipemakers in the States: Bill Feuerbach III, Joe Skoda, Rolando Negoita, and SHPC's Tim Hynick. I hoped some of the magic would rub off on me and was pleased to find that they shared freely with me information and support. Bill even toured a bunch of us through the workshop explaining to us the pipemaking process . Those who didn't take the tour, took the opportunity to drink all the beer.
I regret not getting the opportunity to meet Paul Bonaquisti as he is such a friend of the club, and I have heard so much about him and his pipes. From his new tobacco shop, he provided the Tobacco for this years Northeast Regional Pipe Smoking Contest. On behalf of the S. M. Frank Co, Bill made the contest pipes. I didn't much see the point in competitive pipe smoking, but now realize its about getting first dibs on all the door prizes and the winner does get placed in high esteem amongst his pipe smoking peers. After a great meal, we all got our Kaywoodie Contest Pipe, tobacco, and two matches.
I happened to sit between Steve, who was the contest winner in 2004, and Rick this years champ. As one of the first men out, I was still able to go home with a new U.P.C.A. shirt and a scorched tongue. Rick walked away with two trophies, one to keep, and one to pass along to next years winner. He also walked away with a new Kaywoodie Freehand and a lot of good memories I am sure. We all went home with a nice little Kaywoodie Rusticated Poker with Fishtail Stem, which no doubt Dock will swap out for a Churchwarden (stem).
Also new to our respective collections are: (Ken) Full Bent Clarence Mickles , (Eric) a Ser Jacopo LaFuma Red Dot Straight Grain, (Steve) An Ardor Mercurio, and a Ferndown Full Bent with Silver Band by Les Wood, (Tim) L'Anatra Rusticated Panel Freehand also with silver band, (Nelson) a Tim Hynick Stacked Poker with bark finish and Cumberland Stem, and (Dock) added a Kurt Balleby "Straight Grain, an S. Johnson Billiard, and his much coveted Lee Von Erck. And although I spent the days counting my pennies I managed to come home with a couple of estate pipes: a Barclay (Pipe & Tobacco) Sandblast, and a 2005 World Cup in Slow Pipe Smoking Rhodesian by Henryk Worobiec's who's pipes are almost legendary in Poland.
More importantly, I finished the day counting my blessings. Vern Vig had openly asked of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston, "what do we do to make the club a success?" The club is quite active and does a lot, but its not about what we do, its about who we are; a good bunch of great people, and you can't find that just anywhere. I am thankful to be a part of it. The ride home seemed twice as long and I pulled into my driveway about midnight. But before my head hit the pillow I was compelled to see if I'd won the eBay auction for the silver knight pipe stand. I did win the auction and sent payment right away. Am I sick? No, just the newest member of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston and crazy about pipes like the rest of them!
Pease be with you, Tom
[Edgar Allan Poe, First published in 1845]
|Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,|
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow will he leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
This pipe was carved overlooking Mt. Greylock, the tallest point in Massachusetts.
There is a monument on top that locals swwear is a lighthouse! This monument, however, is dedicated to those who gave their lives in World War I. It has a great curving granite shaft sweeping 93 feet upward, cresting in a glass ball of light visible for 70 miles.
The inscription is carved in classical lettering, "they were faithful even unto death." Over time, a fortune has been spent to thwart leaks and crumbling mortar. Mt. Greylock's old shrine remains triumphant today, as enduring as the mountain native tribes once considered sacred.
As of January 1, it is not yet finished.
This pipe is not finished but is already "spoken for." It was carved, by hand on the only marble bridge in North America. It is 15 feet thick and spans a distance of 30 feet across the chasm. The marble in the bridge was formed when limestone, a rock made of ocean sediments, was subjected to tremendous pressure and high temperatures during mountain building. The heat and pressure transformed the limestone into marble.
This is a favorite spot of mine. Romantic writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne, visited here in 1838 and recorded his experience about Hudson's Cave (or Falls) in An American Notebook "The cave makes a fresh impression on me every time I visit it ... so deep, so irregular, so gloomy, so stern."
Note: pipe 701TM is already "spoken for." I am smoking a 19th century boxwood pipe from China. It is carved with a dragon and sports a wooden stem. It seemed fitting to smoke it here... My dog was very scared, she doesn't like stairs let alone rocky gorges!
....Smoked before its finished, checking out the pre-carb. Stem is a mess as well. Smoked Great. Obviously, this pipe is mine.
Fissures in the sides made it unsalable. Rather than "pitch" it I think its best to fish it, experiment, and use it.
...the holiday season continues with a trip to the Berkshires to visit to visit family and celebrate Christmas. Unfortunately there'll be no snowbaoarding as there is no snow. Its been even to warm to make artifial snow. Maye I'll be able to sit on the posrch and carve pipes 701TM and 702TM on the porch overlooking Mt Greylock.
As you can see, I've spent part of my vacation getting them roughed-out so that I can bring them with me to handcarve my "blackrock" finish to them.
Pipes made in ‘07 will be stamped "TM," and come with a numbered certificate of authenticity: 701 through approximately 752. It seems that there is nothing entirely unique about this numbering system. “7” is for 2007, and the numbers thereafter represent the first through fifty-second (plus) pipes I will make this year.
What does make TM pipes collectable is that the serial number will correspond to the blog. You will forever be able to see and read about it on Shaping The Stummels, just reference 701TM or what have you...
Three series will be offered this year:
Finishes in order: Chisled, Castlerock, Smoothstone
Pipe 701TM (and 702TM) are part of the "Raven" series sometimes refered to as the Blackfriar. Thse pipes will have the Blackrock finish: handcarved with knife, and stained balck; Raven black. You'll see I start the pipe on the drill press which my wife bought for me for Christmas.
Its hard getting used to new equpiment which mandates a new process, but its "all good." It already has made the two holes (chamber and draft) easier to drill. I decided to try a third hole whic will serve as a "stop cut" for where I believe to be the hardest joint on the pipe, because its a blind cut. You can not see the intersection until you remove the wood. I noticed on other forums, tha many new makers struggle with. This method helps, but of course you'll need to make sure the stop-hole is where you approxiamtely want the intersect to be.
Also something unique to me, is using the hole saw to shape the outside of the bowl, where the majority of makers use a lathe. I do own an antique treadle lathe not disimilar to what was used in Merrschuam Pipemaking. Mine is retrofitted with a motor, and I just dont like using it. Maybe someday. In the meantime My method is a more than adequate work around, sepecially for billiard variations. It serves well, also, in drilling a pilot hole for the tobacco chamber.
Please consider buying this pipe. It will be posted for sale at the TM Pipe Shop once complete. It will sell for $50 USD or less.