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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
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
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

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