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Gandalf would be jealous
April 7, 2012 8:26 AM   Subscribe

The creation of a stunningly beautiful smoking pipe.
posted by cthuljew (54 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
Needs more jazz music playing in the background.
posted by Fizz at 8:29 AM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh that is gorgeous. I really wish I paid more attention in shop.
posted by griphus at 8:34 AM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:37 AM on April 7, 2012


griphus: "Oh that is gorgeous. I really wish I paid more attention in shop"

Quoted for truth. I spent shop class carving out my name in standy-up letters, and it was terrible and impossible and the results were awful, but holy cow was I ever proud of what I did.

I'm pretty insufferable now, but daaaaaaamn. If I were to do something like this guy did in these photos you'd basically not let me out in public because I would be braggy and proud and talk nonstop about my awesomely amazing hand-made multi-wood smoking pipe.

Because: wow. That's a truly beautiful piece of work.
posted by barnacles at 8:38 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is my favorite type of thing about the Internet.
posted by cribcage at 8:40 AM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Juice break!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:41 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's a beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

although all through reading it I couldn't help but imagine its end destination in the lips of a weekend renn faire actor who's in a multitude of polyamorous relationships that are all started by blasting bowls out of his exquisite pipe while talking about the Star Wars extended universe behind the Arby's that adjoins the faire's property lines, as the weed smoke mingles with the exhaust from the interstate and the smoke coming off the giant turkey leg pit roast
posted by codacorolla at 8:43 AM on April 7, 2012 [23 favorites]


I love seeing people who have gotten this good at making something. Don't care what it is. Thanks for posting this.
posted by pts at 8:48 AM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


ce n'est pas une pipe mal fabriquée
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:52 AM on April 7, 2012


...but holy cow was I ever proud of what I did.

I had metal shop, not wood -- still 95% lathe work, though -- and I still have the hammer I made. Practically, it's useless, but, still, I made that shit.
posted by griphus at 8:53 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a maker myself, and I think few people understand the sheer willpower necessary to do a task like this, AND photograph it perfectly at every step instead of joyfully proceeding to the next exciting thing... very nice, thank you for posting this.
posted by fake at 8:56 AM on April 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


As much as I appreciate the craftsmanship that went into the pipe, the design is...

Well, it looks like he stuck a drinking straw in a scrotum.

Sorry.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:00 AM on April 7, 2012 [19 favorites]


In school we used to say if there was a massive population decline from some sort of major nuclear event, the population may very well be fucked because famously "no one single person knows how to make a pencil from start to finish" (it involves half a dozen experts on a variety of things).

Then I see something awesome like this and feel good knowing that one single person can know their way not only around lathes and files and sandpapers, but also silver soldering, copper shaping, and acetone flux removal.

We're going to be ok as a species if there exist more people like this that seem to know everything from soup to nuts about a thing.
posted by mathowie at 9:01 AM on April 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Photoshopped. Wood doesn't come in all those colours.
posted by schwa at 9:05 AM on April 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, it looks like he stuck a drinking straw in a scrotum.

We're going to be ok as a species if there exist more people like this that seem to know everything from soup to nuts about a thing.

So the straw is for access to the soup?
posted by yoink at 9:20 AM on April 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ohhhhhhhhh
posted by infini at 9:22 AM on April 7, 2012


My favorite part is when he has that gorgeous red palm stem that is better than anything I could ever do and he chucks it in the garbage because it doesn't match.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:22 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Photoshopped. Wood doesn't come in all those colours.

meh, never mind... the internet is full people
posted by infini at 9:23 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Insufficiently illustrated.

Kidding. Great post.
posted by Trurl at 9:29 AM on April 7, 2012


I am not even halfway through and I am awash in avarice for those safety glasses.
posted by elizardbits at 9:42 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


He didn't make the screen from scratch? Lame!

Seriously, this is awesome. I wish I had taken shop class in high school.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:48 AM on April 7, 2012


What an adorable little lathe.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:52 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Too bitty. The base is gorgeous, it needed a one piece fluted stem from the black wood, with a more graceful curve. Too many colours, too busy, nothing unifying it. The craftsmanship is fantastic, he needs an editor / design consultant.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:02 AM on April 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


God, I scrolled through all those images for that?
posted by iotic at 10:06 AM on April 7, 2012


This is pretty great, though I'm not a huge fan of the end-result either. The step-by-step process I found very fascinating, though. Thanks for posting it!
posted by m0nm0n at 10:14 AM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beautiful.
posted by Sailormom at 10:25 AM on April 7, 2012


As an appreciator of craftsmanship, that is very nice. As a pipe smoker with a decent collection of handmade pipes, it's a highly impractical and not especially aesthetically pleasing pipe. I've considered doing a big FPP about pipe making and collecting, myself, but since my dad makes pipes, and I'd hate to do a post without linking him, it's not in the cards.

If you're interested in smoking, collecting, or making, I encourage you to browse around Pipedia.
posted by gilrain at 11:02 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


gilrain, make the FPP and put your dad in the first comment.
posted by infini at 11:03 AM on April 7, 2012


infini: gilrain, make the FPP and put your dad in the first comment.

Hm! I wasn't sure that would fly, but maybe so... Interesting.
posted by gilrain at 11:05 AM on April 7, 2012


I also was sort of underwhelmed by the final result (though very much in awe of the process) but it looks like this is kind of just his style. Here's his inventory page. I guess his tastes just aren't my tastes, which is fine. If he likes what he's making, and he can support doing it (either as a living or a hobby-that-pays-for-itself or whatever) then more power to him. Personally I've always been more partial to long, churchwarden-style pipes (which it looks like he also makes, from time to time) but maybe there just isn't enough room for self-expression in that style to suit this man's tastes. Anyway, to each his own. He certainly knows what he's doing and one gets the feeling from his process that he really enjoys it. It's always a treat to get a peek at the process of a master craftsman like this.
posted by Scientist at 11:09 AM on April 7, 2012


gilrain, make the FPP and put your dad in the first comment.

Best to check with the mods before trying that. I'm on the bubble about it myself.
posted by scalefree at 11:11 AM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man, gilrain. If I had the kind of disposable income for it, I would be all over your dad's volcano pipe. That thing is gorgeous and imposing and like nothing I've ever seen, and I love it. I love the way the grain of the wood is perfectly suited to the shape of the pipe, I love the oversized bowl which is at once imposing and amusing, it's just perfect.
posted by Scientist at 11:12 AM on April 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


scalefree has a point - I was just greedily thinking about a post by someone who knew something about things I don't have a clue about.
posted by infini at 11:17 AM on April 7, 2012


His pipes aren't my style either, but they're undeniably beautiful in their own way, and I guarantee you that this will be the perfect pipe for somebody (and probably not somebody gnawing a turkey leg at the renfaire, either).

Design needs people willing to make things that aren't all based on the same set of aesthetics.
posted by vorfeed at 11:18 AM on April 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Scientist: I love the way the grain of the wood is perfectly suited to the shape of the pipe

Thank you so much! I'll pass on your compliment. :)

You've nailed the main aesthetic of handmade pipes, as well: even the most fanciful shape should appear to emerge naturally from the grain. The challenge, where it approaches art, is to understand the wood (briar) and be able to manipulate it skillfully enough to follow that rule while still having a lot of creative freedom.
posted by gilrain at 11:19 AM on April 7, 2012


Very neat. I actually sat here scrolling very slowly, reading each caption and enjoying the details of each photo.

Great find, thanks for posting. We don't see nearly enough cool stuff like this on MetaFilter these days.
posted by Gator at 11:28 AM on April 7, 2012


I bet people here want to see more beautiful pipes, yes? I noticed I got a favorite from someone in Denmark. That doesn't surprise me at all, because Denmark is actually a sort of Mecca for pipe making. Here is the Flickr page of probably the most famous Danish pipe maker, Tom Eltang.
posted by gilrain at 11:33 AM on April 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


That was a gorgeous link. That was eye stunningly beautiful.
posted by infini at 11:38 AM on April 7, 2012


Makes me wish I smoked. And owned some fine tweed. I'd go town to the gully in my fine tweed on an overcast day, this beautiful pipe in hand, and just stalk around the foliage, puffing away and looking very serious in a James Joyce sort of way. Maybe I'd have a tumbler of whisky in my other hand too, and some wire frame spectacles. And a beard, natch.

This is my dream.
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:50 AM on April 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't smoke anything, but I want to buy one of their LotR wizard pipes because it looks so badass.
posted by mathowie at 11:54 AM on April 7, 2012


Man those Danish pipes are incredible. What an eye for contrast and continuity the fellow has.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 12:02 PM on April 7, 2012


Want.
Now to find some content.
posted by adamvasco at 12:09 PM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Christ, that is one inglorious bastard of a pipe.
posted by hanoixan at 12:28 PM on April 7, 2012


It looks like the Pipe of the Blue Cobra is the only one still available. I assume that mottled section is the tagua wood, though it doesn't seem to match GIS for tagua wood. Whatever it is, it's gorgeous and I want a box made of it.
posted by Gator at 12:33 PM on April 7, 2012


Enthralling.
posted by mantecol at 1:47 PM on April 7, 2012


I had a friend in college, and his father (a JFK cabinet member) had this glass case full of "amazing valuable things."

One was a meerschaum pipe that depicted a laughing girl, and if you looked inside her mouth you could see every individual tooth. If you looked very closely, two of the teeth had cavities.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:54 PM on April 7, 2012


It looks like the Pipe of the Blue Cobra is the only one still available. I assume that mottled section is the tagua wood, though it doesn't seem to match GIS for tagua wood. Whatever it is, it's gorgeous and I want a box made of it.

At $400, I can see why it's still available.
posted by Malice at 2:23 PM on April 7, 2012


Amazing. I see something like this and feel like I have wasted my life.
posted by Splunge at 2:39 PM on April 7, 2012


At $400, I can see why it's still available.

I bet that's one of his cheaper ones.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:56 PM on April 7, 2012


Holy crow! Stunning. Thanks for posting. I was just given my first pipe. I'm gonna see about the second being from this guy.
posted by foodbedgospel at 4:01 PM on April 7, 2012


Great post. I always love to see how someone practices their craft. I did kind of wonder about his method of clamping the hinge to the bowl lid. The anvil would absorb a great deal of the heat, making it much more difficult to solder. Also, all the heat would have to come from the top...
posted by annsunny at 7:50 PM on April 7, 2012


I can hardly stand not knowing how to do these things. Oh, and not having those tiny custom tools!
posted by pajamazon at 7:58 PM on April 7, 2012


"...those tiny custom tools!"

http://www.micromark.com/
posted by 445supermag at 8:59 PM on April 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm in the club of finding the process interesting, but the final product unattractive and probably impractical. I have some experience with traditional briar pipes (like the one's gilrain's dad makes -- and I'm bookmarking that site, btw), which I love but do less and less of since my allergies appear to be increasing as I age (WTF, right?).

Trad pipes don't need screens, and the posted pipemaker's comments about avoiding gurgle are weird and mostly wrong -- at least, for tobacco pipes made properly. (Choose a hot-burning sweetened leaf, and smoke too fast, and you'll get gurgle, but that's operator error, not a design error. ;)

Of course, if the intended use here is something other than Virginia burley, e.g., my comments may not be on point -- but at the same time, four bills is a lot of money for a weed pipe you might need to ditch.

Finally, if you just love the idea of pipes and find yourself in the skinny part of western Maryland, drive north on I-81 into Chambersburg, PA, and visit J. M. Boswell & Sons. He makes beautiful pipes by hand for prices that will blow your mind, if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by uberchet at 11:49 AM on April 9, 2012


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