Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« March 2007 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
1. The Calabash Project
703TM -NFS
704TM: -NFS
706TM - NFS
708 -NFS
C 07270
C 14262
C 54611
C 63230
Folding your Pocketmod
Other News
Pipe 10: NOV06 -SOLD-
Pipe 11: DEC06 -NFS
Pipe 12: DEC06
Pipe 4: OCT06 -SOLD-
Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-
Pipe 6: NOV06 -NFS
Pipe 7: NOV06 -SOLD-
Pipe 8: NOV06 -NFS
Pipe 9: NOV06 -SOLD-
Buy TM Pipes etc.
TM Pipes, The Shop
Thos. Martin
Shaping The Stummels
Sunday, 11 March 2007
Logo Buttons & Magnets
Topic: 1. The Calabash Project

To help The Calabash Project in South Africa you can buy a pin, magnet, or pipe. Read more.

Posted by thos.martin at 1:41 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007 9:13 AM EDT
Saturday, 10 March 2007
Gourds Out of Africa
Topic: 1. The Calabash Project
Just a quick post to report that there are 15 gourds ready to be shipped out of Africa. Currency exchange (USD into ZAR)alone will take two weeks. There are gourds on the vine still growing that are slated to be TM pipes as well in 2008. The following season the planting can be specifically for pipemaking.

Posted by thos.martin at 7:52 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007 9:18 AM EDT
Friday, 9 March 2007
Announcing the Calabash
Topic: 1. The Calabash Project


Pictured: (Top) Medico Calibash with new bowl added. The pipe is 1940ish. They were basically the Kaywoodie "seconds". Note briar extension to account for short stem. It also holds a filter. The gourd has some marring. (Bottom) My 2nd and final Calabash prototype. Note black stain and lattice/meerschaum bowl. Junction of stem to gourd to be improved. It is a nylon stem with threaded insert commonly used for New meerschaums. This pipe is most large.


Posted by thos.martin at 7:32 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007 9:19 AM EDT
Wednesday, 7 March 2007
I Wrote, and I Quote...
Topic: Other News
Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:05 am  
 Post subject:
Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post

PipeAndPint wrote:  Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:05 am  
I enjoyed what you wrote. I confess to a near complete lack of knowledge when it comes to Van Gogh. What was it that caused him such melancholy throughout life? Is anything known about his spiritual state?

Thanks again for the interesting post!

I wrote, and I Quote:
There are of course suppositions, but the most common was that he was bi-polar.

Concerning his spiritual state, there was mention. When I get home tonight I'll respond. I don't want to misquote but thats an excellent question so I want to give it a good answer.


Feb 28, 2007 12:21 pm  

Short Answer: He was ecstatically pious.

Long Answer:You need to look at the question, "Why did Van Gogh cut off his ear?" The author of this book, at first specualtes that he was somehow emulating or trying to right the wrongs of "Jack the Ripper."

Vincent & Gauguin would read and follow crime in the local newspaper.
Jack the Ripper was international news. Vincen had spent some time as an evangelist near London. This was to be his vocation but he never finished (was kicked out) his education, and his congregation thought him mad and had him removed.

JTR had hacked off one of his victims ears.
His victims were mostly prostitutes. When Vincent cut off his ear and delivered it to a prostitue at one of the brothels he frequented, some say he was making this offering as a gesture of goodwill, empathizing with their lowly stature.

Others speculated he cut off his ear to put a stop to his auditory hallucinations.

Gauguin's interpretation was more Biblical.
He said that when Vincent presented his ear to the prostitute he said to her "you will remember me, verily I tell you this." When asked why he did it, Vincent replied that his reason were "quite personal."

After subsequent attacks Vincent said he was plagued be religious fears, what he also dubbed "religious exhultation. and frightful ideas about religion." He identified greatly with the story of Christ's agony in the Garden of Gethsemane when he foresaw his arrest, torture and crucifixion.

In the new Testament, after Christ accepted his fate, Judas burst into the garden with armed men, [sic] to arrest him. When the disciples saw what was going to happen, they thought of defending Christ by force, "And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear."

Vincent also read avidly the works of Emile Zola.
In his fantasy novel, The Sin of Father Mouret , the central figure, a priest, was ecstatically pious and collapsed in front of a stutue of theVirgin and later awoke in an overgrown garden. The priest is nursed back to health by a woman who was to become his lover. They were later driven from the garden by a viloent and local friar, Brother Archangias.

The priest, FatherMouret, later returned for his lover's funeral. When he finished his prayers, he calmly pulled a knife from hi pocket, opened it, and cut of the friar's ear!

In his writings, Vincent implied that his spiritual struggles were more compelling than his struggles with the flesh.
So, its hard to say whether Vincent cut off his ear to: punish himself the way the friar Archangias had been punished, or as St. Peter punished the soldier in Gethsemane, or as the prostitute had been punished by Jack the Ripper. But remember, it was Gauguin his "comrade" who refers to his actions as "Biblical mortifications."

So, PnP, if your still with me, now you know why I needed to take some time in responding. Glad you asked? Laughing Serioulsy though, I'm glad you did. Thanks.

Posted by thos.martin at 8:51 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007 7:31 PM EST
Tuesday, 6 March 2007
Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club March Meeting
Topic: Other News

 Tonight @ 7:  SHPC Boston


Posted by thos.martin at 8:55 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007 8:03 PM EDT
Sunday, 4 March 2007
708 Finished!
Topic: 708 -NFS
 Part of the Van Gogh series of peasant pipes!
As you can see, it is a pic Axe with what I call cuffs & collars. The collar is the top rim and is the outer edge of the burl, what Michael parks calls "burl top." The cuff if where the shank meets the stem, and in this case the stem is set into the shank.. the shank becomes a sleeve for the stem, hence the name cuff. I do not know of other designs like this except for pipes with "fancy" stems but, the mortise is flush to the outer edge.
The finish was inspired by the smokey looking stem, kind of "where form meets fashion."  I decided to stain the pipe almos like the sunburst finish on an electric guitar except the them of this pipe being smoke and fire... flame.. grain.. From bottom to top, this pipes looks like a burning ember: flame red to black smoke.
Looks Hot, Smokes Cool!

Posted by thos.martin at 1:45 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 5 March 2007 12:14 PM EST
Thursday, 1 March 2007
Sherlock Holme Pipe Club Article
Topic: Other News

Read the article I wrote on beginner pipemaking in the March 2007 Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston newsletter. If your reading this in mid April , 2007 or after, go to


Posted by thos.martin at 1:06 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 4 March 2007 2:10 PM EST
Wednesday, 28 February 2007
Pipe 708 doesn't make it past QC
Topic: 708 -NFS

I thought I was nearing completion with Pipe 708 but my wife told me what I alredy knew but didn't want to admit. It needs to be either carved or smoothe. I had sanded down some of the carving trying to tone it done a little and it just looked a little crappy so I need to continue sanding and make it smooth. IT will be nice.

My brother once told me, while fishing with a rubber worm, "if you think your reeling it in too slow, your not reeling it in slow enough." This translates to piemaking as well:

 "When you think your done sanding, you need to sand some more."

Posted by thos.martin at 12:08 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 4 March 2007 1:05 PM EST
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Save the Calabash!
Topic: Other News

Just added to the personal collection, for restoration:


 Save the Calabash !

Posted by thos.martin at 9:00 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 9:15 AM EST
Monday, 26 February 2007
Pipe proletarienne
Topic: 708 -NFS


In continuation of the Van Gogh peasant pipe inspiration, 708 or pipe proletarienne, I hand carved with a knife, complete with cuts and divots.

Unique to this pipe are the matt black cuffs: the rim of the bowl and the end of the shank. (see pics above) These are in response to the four "dress black" pipes I tried so earnestly to make, never satisfied with the black. Short of soaking the briar, I tried everything. Anyway Cuffs; you saw them here first.

Other pipes in the series:




Also important to note, growing up, this (Artco) planter sat on the windowsill, above the sink. I own the house now, and it still sits thereabouts reminding me of my childhood and forcasting the pipemaker I came to be!





Posted by thos.martin at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 6:37 AM EST
Sunday, 25 February 2007
707 dies on operating table...
Topic: 707TM- PITCHED
good riddence to ya ya dumb pipe! this pipe was cursed! The pipe itself wouldn't take a stain, had no good grain to brag about. I fitted and busted four stems in the making. I was going to rusticate it to make it lighter and because of "the stain thing" and I put the stem on the vice held by a nail punch... trying to keep it out of the way. Well, I knocked it and cracked it at the tenon. I fitted another stem (#4 or 5) and in the process busted the shank. again, good riddence.

Posted by thos.martin at 7:28 PM EST
Saturday, 24 February 2007
Topic: Other News

TMpipes is working on getting its own Blackfriar blended by someone who can legally sell it to you. Until then, I will give to you the recipe. Use, preferrably McClellands blending tobaccos and Black Cavendish as it has hints of vanilla. The recipe is:


  • Perique
  • Latakia (twice amount as Perique)
  • McClellands Black Cavandish (twice amount of Latakia)

'N Joy!


Note a/o 3/13: The name has been Changed to Blue Monk, and McC's 5100 has been added in the same proportion as the Latakia. To my taste, its a fine blend and will only improve with age as the Va.s mature and the flavours marry.

Posted by thos.martin at 7:40 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007 8:07 PM EDT
Friday, 23 February 2007
The Yellow House
Topic: Other News
I just finished reading "The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles". by Martin Guyford. For the most part well written and researched. Both artist were ardent pipe smokers (the bohemian and proletarian alternative to the cigar.)

Vincent short on sales, short on cash he still managed to buy tobacco from local merchant, Maria Ourtoul. Pipe smoking was a great solace for Vincent- he recommended it as a source of comfort and remedy for Melancholy. He unfortuneately also soothed himself with drink.

As you all know, when Vincent's mental state worsened, he cut off part of his ear. The next morning upon waking from his stupor, all bloody and bandaged, Vincent asked for: his comrade (Gauguin, his pipe, and his tobacco.) Weeks thereafter, at the beginning of July, he tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest.

When he awoke from this ordeal, and before dying of the wound, again he asked for his pipe and smoked it calmly in his bed. Towards the end, he wrote his brother Theo and said, he wished he could pass away like this. Vincent Van Gogh died Tuesday, July 29, 1890.

Posted by thos.martin at 7:20 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 9:17 AM EST
Tuesday, 20 February 2007
Peter Stokkebyes Bullseye Flake
Topic: Other News

Funny thing hapened while smoking Stokkebye's Bullseye Flake...  This is a true story, and it could happen to you. I'm at a red light lighting my pipe and a very attractive woman walks by. Let's just say I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing, (lighting my pipe).

So I'm smoking on my pipe and its tasting like Butane, which was odd since I used a match to light it. Then it starts tasting like kerosene and I thinking what the... I start hearing all this crackling, like my tobacco was a small campfire or something.

I look down and the contents of my ashtray were on fire! Flames coming out of it and lapping on my dashboard. Earlier in the day I had peeled off the little plastic sticker from my windshield that tells me when to get my oil changed. They send me a reminder anyway.

Well the lit match I put in the ashtray ignited it along with a bunch of matchsticks, and two or three used pipecleaners. Talk about distracted driving, I'm driving down Storrow drive trying to put out a small car fire before my Zebrano dash is engulfed in flames. So I closed the ashtray thinking it wouldn't get any oxygen... I wish I could say that was the end of the story.

I'll spare you the rest, but lets just say things got worse. I only told you as much as I did as a warning: Be careful out there, this could happen to you!

  • Don't smoke Bullseye in the car!
  • Never peel the oil change reminder off your windshield
  • And if ya gotta check out the ladies, for God's sake, light your pipe later!

I can only imagine what would happen if I peeled the tags off my mattress!!!!!

Posted by thos.martin at 8:33 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 9:18 AM EST
Saturday, 17 February 2007
Contemporary Black 'Bash...
Topic: Other News

The second and third calabash prototypes are in the works:

  • I decided to stain and shine the gourd before cutting to eliminate off odors
  • More importantly I have stems from Turkey that have: threaded inserts to accept the nylon tenon of the stem. This is proving to be an excellent design solution.
  • I tap the gourd itself to make the 5/16" threads. Although probably not neccesary, I will affix the insert with adhesive. Typically it is the stem that is threaded which causes registration problems.
  • You can get whatever color you want so long as its black...

Posted by thos.martin at 9:53 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 17 February 2007 11:27 AM EST
Thursday, 15 February 2007
Topic: Other News
  • Briar unharmed
  • Meerschaum unharmed
  • Peronal pipes and tobacco cellar unharmed
  • Power to shop lights, drill press, and stereo lost.

Posted by thos.martin at 6:36 PM EST
Tuesday, 13 February 2007
freehand calabash
Topic: 706TM - NFS

Well, the first calabash is finished, made with American gourd, Stained ala Medico, acrylic bit mounted direct, meerschaum bowl from Turkey:









Posted by thos.martin at 7:34 PM EST
Sunday, 11 February 2007
The new blog
Topic: Other News

The contest is over, as is my weekend snowboarding....

I have been offline and out of the workshop doing a lot research the calabash, setting up a frgn exchange account, talking by phone with a framer in South Afirica, and emailing him through hi more computer savvy daughter. I will have some genuine SA calabash in months

Meanwhile I have been practicing with four gourds from WA state. Also, I must note that my "research" has become more of a study as I have found the definitive text on this topic: "The History of the Calabash Pipe" by Gary B. Schrier. Also moving forward, each pipe will have only 3 or 4 posts allowinf more time in the shop pursuing the Calabash... Neither will I post too many pictures that directly allude to the process as they will be considered propritary.

Posted by thos.martin at 5:26 PM EST
Wednesday, 7 February 2007
Tobacco Fiction
Topic: Other News
Altadis Voodoo Queen** in a selfmade Black Friar:

The blend was unabashedly laced with Perique and enough Latakia to smoke like a backwood distillery. I picked a stick out of the pouch and am fairly sure there were also a few rocks in it- like kidney stones I could not pass. After the first Jarring light, it seemed to be off-gassing as if I'd stepped in a bog, and tasted like I imagine peat would taste if I packed it my pipe and smoked it.

The "room note" was aweful, enough to chase away snakes, women, children, and animals: wild and domestic. Somewhere after the middle of the bowl I blacked out... woke up in a small woodshack with my head shaved and rope burns across my chest. Cloven hoof prints headed back toward the wood. Black magic.

Trying to regain my composure, instinctively I reached for my pipe. It was still burning. I puffed again at this Voodoo Queen and coughed until my shaven head ached! In the name of all that is Holy, I knocked the dottle from the bowl and swore to God I'd never smoke it again. I felt a stabbing pain in my chest as if struck by lightning. It was then I noticed, nailed to a cyprus beam, the voodoo doll in my likeness.

I grabbed it, crossed myself and ran. Voodoo Queen, I hated her for what she had done to me but I'll be back someday to finish what I started. Despite my promise. Despite myself. Someday.


* I wouldn't smoke again if you gave it to me
** I"ll finish what I have but will not buy again
*** Would defineately buy it again sometime...
**** Would defineately buy it again by the pound

Posted by thos.martin at 9:16 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 9:18 AM EST
Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club Feb. Meeting
Topic: Other News, as always, the first Tuesday of every month: Shop Closed.

Posted by thos.martin at 10:10 AM EST

Newer | Latest | Older