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#15-01 Talbert Pipe Stand #1, The Fossil

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 Price: $SOLD
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Magnetic pipe stands are something I've wanted to make for some time. I was never a big fan of the wire-holder style, as the wire frames never seemed to fit any of my own pipes. Over the years I have made a few pipe stands here and there but nothing really "serious" - It was strictly a casual sideline. However, the artistic possibilities of sculptural pipe stands that the magnetic system afforded were too intriguing not to try. With my recent return to casting my own acrylics and resins, I thought I might be able to do some genuinely unique pipe stand concepts.

Now, anything to do with pipe stands must always fall in the shadow of Neil Yarm - His work is fantastic and essentially defines the best in the field. I wanted to try forging my own entirely different aesthetic of pipe stands, something that didn't look like what people normally thought of and something that would look distinctly "me". For my baseline concepts, I drew from natural forms "enhanced"... I suppose my overall visual inspiration might be considered a darker, earthier variation of the Roger Dean look. "Yes" album covers meet Myst meet my own Goblins and Halloween pipes, in a nutshell.

This brought me to my next question, which was price. In the past, I've usually made simple pipe stands of the "Slice of polished wood + a wire holder" variety. That's the price range people tend to expect for pipe stands, but the problem is that it doesn't allow for anywhere near the labor time I'd like to invest into making some really unique stuff. After all, even though this above is a single pipe stand, there's easily as much carving work and shop hours invested in it as there is in any $500 billiard that one might see. The details had to be carved, there was sandblasting to do, highlighting, more detail carving, mixing and pouring the resin centerpiece and logo surround, and more. Pipe stands the way I want to make them are not going to be cheap. In fact, this will probably be the *least* expensive one I do, if I keep doing these, because a multiple pipe stand of several times this size could easily run into the $800+ price range just from the labor time. So, that's the question of the moment - Will this one sell, and is there a market for a very high-end line of handcarved, creatively dynamic pipe stands?

This pipe stand is made primarily from very aged oak. If it looks like morta, that's because it practically is - Give it another couple thousand years in a peat bog somewhere and it would be as naturally black as morta. If you're going to try something new, start with something that's at least somewhat familiar. Normally woodworkers would probably putty in the splits but putty goes against my pipemaker nature, so instead I made sure it was internally buttressed and solid, and left the splits in for natural effect. The shape was done by hand and the recessed sides were all carved out, then blasted. The top and bottom were sandblasted and then stained and highlighted to give it its multi-toned, petrified appearance - It looks very much like a fossil.

On top, the center section is hand-mixed, poured resin in a deep, dark green color flecked with golden and black sparkles. In the photos, it looks totally black. Such is my skill with photography. On the underside, my smooth logo circle is also rounded with a mixed charcoal-grey metallic inlay. It's stamped 15 for the year, and 1 for being the first of its kind.

Will there be more? The sales will tell.