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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
Thursday, 12 April 2007

Topic: 1. The Calabash Project

For years Jimmy Durante ended his radio and television shows with "Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are." Does she really exist? Some, in Calabash North Carolina, say he was speaking to and about the owner of The Calabash Restaurant. Did she really exist?

Posted by thos.martin at 9:49 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2007 5:43 PM EDT
Wednesday, 11 April 2007
Briar Rose
Topic: 715TM

aka: Little Brier-Rose, 1812 (Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm), now commonly known as Sleeping Beauty...

"Briar Rose"
by Tristan Elwell

Jane Yolan (Tor/Starscape Editions, March '02)
  The 18th Annual Chesley Awards
Winner, Best Cover Illustrations, Paperback Books

OK, so I've lost days to a Bulging Disc/Occipatal Neuralgia either in pain, or asleep, or both. I miss the shop but mostly I just want to be a DAD again. I feel like I haven't "been there" for my son because I've beenmiserable, cranky, in pain, or asleep for hours and hours and hours... I want to make pipes!!!!

I've spent a little time in the shop, and apparently too much time based on the pain I'm in today. I am working on a symmetrical pipe and also my FITH try at a dress black finish.

I've learned: that eubachon blocks are harder to work with than plateaux because they lack grain and are more brittle. But, they are "pithy" and there fore more absorbent.

I am learning that smaller blocks aren't necceasirly easier too work with simply because there is less wood to remove. There is also less room for error which takes me to the pont of sanding (and shaping) with intention. Be mindful and your pipe will thank you for it.

Posted by thos.martin at 8:14 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2007 8:33 AM EDT
Monday, 9 April 2007
what I know I need to know
Topic: Other News
To summarize what I'm now learning, and accepting that I need to learn:
  1. Without the lathe especially... I need to strive toward perfect symmettry BEFORE trying to make a statement with asymmetry. Put another way, you can't embrace asymmetry as an excuse for not being able to be symetrical. Put another way- sort of-, learn the trade before the tricks of the trade.
  2. I need to make more such that I can make more mistakes.
  3. Sand with intention, sand mindfully, stop sanding when you reach the pipe.
  4. (to conclude the first lesson and bring us back to number one) A good round starts good and square. *

* As told to me by a master carver, as told to him, and so-on and so-on and so-on.

Posted by thos.martin at 11:29 AM EDT
Saturday, 7 April 2007
Save the Calabash!
Topic: 1. The Calabash Project

Read my article: Save The Calabash, in the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston, April 078 Newsletter.

Posted by thos.martin at 11:35 AM EDT
Thursday, 5 April 2007
Wrapsacks: To Protect & to Serve
Topic: Other News

Not your grandfather's pipesocks:

Read how you can help The Calabash Project, and Save the Calabash!


Posted by thos.martin at 8:22 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007 8:51 AM EDT
Tuesday, 3 April 2007
C 14262- First US Calabash in Decades!
Topic: C 14262

 This is the first of few calabashes for this year as the gourds out of Africa are in limited supply. The bag is 6.25" x 10.25" if that gives you perspective. The lattice bowl is reformed meerschaum and the stem is nylon. A beech veneer has since been added to the end of the gourd. Nice.

 The bag (C 14262) is from Wrapsacks and is uniquely numbered and allows the history/future of this pipe, or at least the bag/sock to be chronicled. This is the future of the Calabash!

Read how you can help The Calabash Project, and Save the Calabash!



Posted by thos.martin at 6:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007 8:53 AM EDT
Monday, 2 April 2007
Sit! Good dog. (C 54611)
Topic: C 54611

This pipe was made under great personal duress, but a pearl emerges! It is unlike any other pipe I have made. Its a sitter, and it stands. Angular yet comes to sensible curves. 'Ave a look:








I'm not sure what to price this at. Note the matte "collar & Sleeve". The staining combination of black over brown achieves an almost charred finish. Appealing to me, but not to all. I do not polish or wax either the rim of the bowl or the end of the shank as I leave the outer most of the burl the shape that mother (nature) gave it. Most if not all carvers go ahead and polish this followed by waxing. To me, this is akin to waxing bark and I just don't like it. I do although like the contrasting finishes: shiny-matt, smoothe-burl, light-dark. I hope you do too.

Read how you can help The Calabash Project, and Save the Calabash!

Posted by thos.martin at 7:28 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007 10:20 AM EDT
Wednesday, 28 March 2007
African Calabash Peace Pipe
Topic: 1. The Calabash Project

A peace pipe in Afrikaans is a vredespyp. Peace - vrede. Pipe - pyp. I was sent instructions and (2) gourds to make such a pipe. The owner did not want to part with his pipe, but sent along instructions and a brief history.

The stem functioned as well.. a stem, and a string ran through it. When smoked the string absorbs the tobacco oils and repels mosquitos when worn around the neck. Larger versions served the more important purpose, meetings.


The gourd I was sent had a nice round tobacco hole. I broke the stem trying to pull the pipe cleaner out which was supposed to make the draft hole as the clay interior dried. Unfortuneately the cotton of the pipe cleaner stuck to the clay and I couldn't get it out. When I used another gourd I cut off the side of the gourd which didn't yeild a nice round tobacco hole. But I got to say, I am looking forward to hiking, fishing, canoeing with this around my neck keeping me mosquito free!

I filled the inside of the mini-calabash with clay and then cleaned of the outside, added the Kokopelli with pipe decorative touch, the string, and filled it with tobacco. Viola; vredespyp!













Read how you can help The Calabash Project, and Save the Calabash!


Posted by thos.martin at 7:52 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 29 March 2007 8:29 AM EDT
Pipe cleaners & cryptographical violaceum

On 16:04:07, 2007-03-28 the following Google search (whack) returned no hits:

cryptographical violaceum

Now for something completely different: Martha Stewart's pipe cleaner animals:

Posted by thos.martin at 4:03 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 28 March 2007 4:11 PM EDT
Monday, 26 March 2007
Blue Monk
Topic: Other News


Read how you can help The Calabash Project, and Save the Calabash!




Posted by thos.martin at 5:35 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007 10:35 AM EDT
Sunday, 25 March 2007
You've got Mail
Topic: 1. The Calabash Project

The Calabash arrived in short order, actually the same day I recieved word that the growers got their money. They are such nice people. They included a set of salt & pepper shakers that are their specialty with the smal gourds. Pictured here is my son putting them to "the test."

They also sent me: small gourds "in case I find a use," some cut Calabash and some whole (but cleaned, "for practice.









I mostly liked the way they went on what we would call a "road trip" looking for an indiginous local made pipe. And they found one that belong to an old man, but he would not part with it. Instead he gave to them, and them to me gourds to make my own and a little sketch and description about the local pipes- not the calabashes we are familiar with. These are the African peace pipe. I will blog about that shortly.

Read how you can help The Calabash Project, and Save the Calabash!

Posted by thos.martin at 5:06 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007 10:35 AM EDT
Tuesday, 20 March 2007
The Sacred Pipe- Who was Black Elk?
Topic: Other News

Black Elk
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa) (c. December 1863 – August 17 or August 19, 1950 (sources differ)) was a famous Wichasha Wakan (Medicine Man or Holy Man) of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux). He was the second cousin of Crazy Horse. Black Elk participated, at about the age of twelve, in the Battle of Little Big Horn of 1876, and was wounded in the massacre that occurred at Wounded Knee in 1890.

In 1887, Black Elk travelled to England with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, an unpleasant experience he described in chapter 19 of Black Elk Speaks. He was accidentally left behind and had to make his own way back to his homeland.

Black Elk married his first wife, Katie War Bonnett, in 1892. She became a Catholic, and all three of their children were baptized as Catholic. After her death in 1903, he too became baptized, taking the name Nicholas Black Elk, and continued to serve as a spiritual leader among his people, seeing no contradiction in embracing what he found valid in both his tribal traditions concerning Wakan Tanka, and those of Christianity.

He remarried in 1905 to Anna Brings White, a widow with two daughters. She bore him three more children, and remained his wife until she died in 1941.

Towards the end of his life, he revealed the story of his life, and a number of sacred Sioux rituals to John Neihardt and Joseph Epes Brown for publication (The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux (1953) (as told to Joseph Epes Brown) , and his accounts have won wide interest and acclaim. He also claimed to have had several visions in which he met the spirit that guided the universe.

Books about Black Elk, emphasizing his Catholicism:
  Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala, Michael Steltenkamp
  Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism, Damian Costello

Also see:
  The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux (1953) (as told to Joseph Epes Brown)


Posted by thos.martin at 9:49 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007 8:50 AM EDT
Monday, 19 March 2007
When it rains it pours!
Topic: Other News
Although there was no flooding, I did have the msifortune of being rushed to the emergency room at 3 o'clock Sunday morning due to pian caused (presumabley) by herniated discs. Not much coming out of the shop til the end of the week. Sorry.

Posted by thos.martin at 5:34 PM EDT
Saturday, 17 March 2007
Nor' Easter


Posted by thos.martin at 7:24 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 5:33 PM EDT
Friday, 16 March 2007
C 07270 Finished
Topic: C 07270
















Posted by thos.martin at 7:21 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007 10:23 AM EDT
Thursday, 15 March 2007
The let down after the hunt & Van Gogh
Topic: 1. The Calabash Project

After searching for nearly four months, the CAlabash gourds are on their way to the states, the paymnet is on its way to S. Africa. I'm feeling a bit of a let down as there is nothing left to fo but wait (and make pipes).

So, I thought a little Van Gogh was in order. See Slide Show.

Posted by thos.martin at 10:57 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007 9:16 AM EDT
Tuesday, 13 March 2007
I didn't forget... its on the bench
Topic: 709TM


Posted by thos.martin at 7:11 PM EDT
Monday, 12 March 2007
Out of Africa: Tracking My Gourds
Topic: 1. The Calabash Project

South Africa POS Mail Tracking:

accepted on 12-Mar-2007 15:25 at the MORGENZON (RPO) post office
Date last tracked (scanned): 12-Mar-2007 15:25
Current Status: In transit
Delivery Office:

Item History

Scan DescriptionPlace ScannedTrace InformationItem StatusDate Scanned

Posted by thos.martin at 3:42 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007 9:17 AM EDT
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

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