Here are a few quick snapshots of the pipe I talked about briefly yesterday, where I posted a photo of it at an earlier stage. It’s coming along startlingly well. I believe it was Mark Tinsky who once compared pipemaking to gold mining in the sense that one does not “clock in” to an hourly job, but rather one hunts and hunts for the few gems and nuggets that are most valuable. This definitely is!
It is not far from completion, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to nap a few more photos of it in unfinished state, before the final sanding and polishing occur.
Also, there are still decisions to make. This is a “shape strong” pipe, meaning that the shape is the star here, and there is plenty going on IN the shape, so even though the grain is pretty excellent, I do not intend to give it the sort of high-contrast grain staining that I might apply in other circumstances. While a simple billiard shape can be “jazzed up” via some strong black contrast stain, this pipe would just become raucous, with too many strong elements fighting for attention.
The choice now is between an even, all-over orange/yellow/red stain or just leaving it natural. The staining would show off the grain better, while leaving it unstained gives maximum prominence to the curves and shape of the pipe.
I should also mention that I don’t yet know what I’m going to DO with it… Whether it will go up in the catalog or be shipped off to P&P or elsewhere. Fortunately, given that I’ll probably spend a week of spare time sanding the thing, I’ll have plenty of time to decide.