Over the last six months, I’ve been asked to make a few more tobacco pipes.
These are both made of plateaux briar, which is the highest grade. I was delighted with the birdseye figure in the churchwarden pipe in the foreground. The shape of the one in the background was something of an experiment, and I’m not entirely sure I like it, but it’s very comfortable to hold.
This pipe is my most recent commission. It’s a small bent-stem made from ebauchon briar, which is a lower grade, but this piece still had some very nice figure. The egg-shape is comfortable to hold, too.
I’m getting faster shaping these things. The last one took just about three hours from start to finish, not counting finishing. I’m still using pre-drilled blocks, but as soon as I pick up one more drill bit, I’ll be drilling the holes myself, too.
All the time I’ve spent making spoons has really paid off. I’m used to shaping symmetrical contours by eye, so getting the outside of the bowl even all the way around isn’t too difficult. (If you want to learn to carve your own pipes, I highly recommend starting by carving your own spoons.)
There are many conventional pipe shapes that I may try one day, but I’m committed to freehand shapes for the moment. They’re just fun.