Black Gold was commissioned to commemorate the oil prospecting days of my client’s father, and was ordered up as the perfect Christmas present. The pipe is based on the triple headed drill bits commonly used for oil wells, or for piercing the heart of earth-threatening asteroids…
The stand is scratch-built from 435 pieces of basswood, the same wood often used to construct RC aircraft. The base is cherry, and while I enjoy engraving I had the plaque professionally engraved by a local shop. Nothing like a CNC engraver for crisp clean lettering.
Black Gold was a pleasure to work on as a project concept, and also knowing the special meaning it holds for its new owner.
Lurtz was commissioned by the guy who owns “Barahir” as the yin to the yang of the Aragorn themed pipe he currently enjoys. What better character from The Lord of the Rings than Lurtz to complement the ring of Aragorn? Lurtz, the Uruk Hai officer under the command of Saruman, and Aragorn clash in an epic battle that serves as a shadow of the dominant theme in Tolkien’s universe: that good ultimately prevails over evil, in spite of the apparent odds and setbacks. This pipe is modeled after the film’s version of Lurtz, the facial expression a composite of several images available online. The stand is based on Lurtz’s armor, and although not meant to be a direct copy of his torso serves as an extension of the Uruk Hai’s theme. The pipe is briar, and the stand is wild cherry which smells quite nice while carving, btw.
“In the Rough” was commissioned as a gift for a guy with eclectic interests including cartoon rabbits, golf, and Ferraris. Couldn’t squeeze it all on one pipe, so we went went what you see. The stand is a tuft of rough carved from wild cherry, and the pipe is briar. The stem is cumberland and is shaped to resemble a golf tee.
Commissioned as a retirement gift for a friend of my client, the Viking captures the essence of what has become the standard Western perception of the fabled seafaring warriors. Wild and shaggy with horned helmets. In the course of my search for reference images I read that in all likelihood vikings were not unkempt and wild looking but probably a bit vain about their appearance as personal grooming items are the most often found artifacts in viking graves. Also, no viking interested in combat success would wear horns on their helmets as that would just provide their enemies with something to grab onto. However, a nicely groomed and hornless viking makes for a rather boring pipe, so we went with the modern stereotype. The shipwrecked longboat stand does sport my adapted rendition of an actual viking figurehead discovered in a gravesite, so there is some semblance of authenticity provided here. All in all, I love this pipe, and am sad to see it go… wouldn’t mind having this on display in my own home.
The briar is Italian, and the stem is German ebonite with an oak band. The stand is basswood with a briar figurehead, and a piece of wild cherry serving as the prop piece for the pipe.
The name is inspired by the shape it emulates, the flight-enabling airfoil, and my wife’s favorite ride at Disney’s Epcot center “Soarin’.” Commissioned by an pilot-engineer whose resume includes the aeronautical giant Boeing, Soarin’ features the classic airfoil shape covered with a woodcarver’s take on carbon fiber, a material my client worked closely with. Soarin’ commemorates flight itself, and my client’s personal passion for it.
When I was commissioned to make a pipe intended as a gift for a guy with the nickname, “Taz,” I knew exactly what I was in for. A branch away from my typical subject matter, Taz is of the classic Looney Toons character, complete with the churning whirlwind. Because of the restraints of the medium of briar, I had to go for a more conservative facial expression, and not the typical arm waving and tongue flapping pose Taz is usually striking. Turned out well, regardless, in my opinion. The pipe is left a little scuffed, signature of the destructive character, and the whole pipe curves and bends as if in motion. Due to the imminent arrival of my first child, and spending the past few weeks helping my wife put together a suitable nursery, this pipe took me longer than I normally like to take on a project, but it feels good to get this finished and off my bench in anticipation of the next project… which will presumably be after the dust settles from this baby broo ha ha.
This is the first in a series of wildlife themed pipes. A real pleasure to work on.
I don’t normally do this, but the following is a series of images of the process of production on this pipe: