Topic: Pipe 5: NOV06 -SOLD-
Sold to Jessup, Maryland
This pipe, started out with an architectural influenced freehand, and became a taper an 1/8 Bent Tapered Brandy, or as the prince of Whales called them; "Cognac."
Pipe five is a more organic, in process and in result. It is more of a gourd shape and I am surprised how much of a an influence the bottle gourd ended up being... Organic even in its rim as it is slightly "depressed" in front to rear center. Neither is it entirely round at the rim.
The life of pipe 5: Freehand>> six sided billiard>> four sided flat paneled square billiard>> Brandy. I learned that making a freehand pipe, you must not overplan it, to force a shape on to the wood is what making classic pipes is all about; not neccesarily a bad thing.
In fact, I believe that the reduction of mass produced pipes to freehands has taken away from all of our appreciation of the classics. Similarly, it has driven the price of Plateau up, and Ebuchon down. The best article to understanding what makes for good briar was published in 1985 by Pipe Smoker Magazine and written by R.D Field. If you take the time to read it you might noticed that the author places several variable even before whether or not the briar is Ebuchon or Plateau. Age of briar, contributing to tightness of grain is more imortant than whether or not the briar is Ebuchon or Plateau. He doesn't speak to which country yields the best wood, but he does place the gender of the plant as being more important than from what part of the root ball the piece was cut.
He even states that if you consider the weight of the wood to be important, with lightness being better, than you might want to consider the rootball from a male plant. Pipe 5 is a long but light pipe. Pipe 5 Lite if you will. But I can't imagine specifying female briar when placing an order. Do the harvesters or mills even know the gender of the plant. Fact is Female briar is tighter grained, denser and therefore heavier. If you smoke hot, you might want a heavier pipe more resistent to burnout. Anyway..
In my opinion, that to make a freehand is like righting a story. the classic shapes are the grammar, the language of pipemaking and I need to better learn that language. In a way freehands a bit to easy.
With so many classic shapes: round bowls, cylindrical bowls, bulldog shaped bowls, Conical Bowls, and Brandy glass shaed bowls like this pipe , the possibilities are endless. If the shapes are the grammar, than the other variables are the vocabulary. Those variables are length of shank & stem:
Shape (oval, round, square, diamond). Height of bowl, Rusticated or smoothe, wall thickness, Stem material, Stained or natural, Carbonized bowl or not, height of bowl, typ of bit, mounts or not, bent or not. How much? 1/8, 1/4 , full...Who made the pipe, from where the wood was obtained, age of wood...
You get my point, the opportunies are endless, even with the classics. Even a freehand shape is becoming a classic. The volcano is becomng a classic freehand shape. Wow! That said, Pipe 7 will be a volcano.Read about in Topic "Pipe 7." There will be surprise and I promise you it will be most original, at least I have never seen anything like what I have planned!