What a great show! The Greater Kansas City Pipe Club (GKCPC), after a year off, came back with a wonderful pipe show in late June. Clinton Wells and his team put together a fantastic show. No effort was spared, and I think the club was hoping for a better turn out, and deserved it with all the work they put in. This is a show to watch. It will grow and thrive once they find the right dates and venue. The members of the GKCPC are a great group of guys, with many well educated and sophisticated collectors who own a lot of beautiful pipes, and they're a tremendous hang--what a blast! I had a fantastic show! I sold very well, and had a wonderful time in the process.
Chicago is amazing--it's about as close as you can come to pipe mecca, at least in this country. I missed the show last year, and it was a close call this year too. In the past Chicago has fallen on the weekend before finals at Murray State (my day job), and escaping for the weekend is difficult at best. Next year Chicago is after the semester wraps up, which is perfect! I'm looking forward to having much more time in Chicago next year! In the past I've felt a little lost in the shuffle. This year was a little better in that regard, and I suspect that I've turned the corner and next year will be even better. While my two previous Chicagos were a great time and a huge education, I think my offerings have only just started to be up to the challenge.
Over my Spring Break in March I had an amazing three day visit to Nashville to see Todd Johnson and Bruce Weaver. Words cannot describe what I learned in those three days. It will take years to apply it all but I'm already seeing progress in my work as a result.
In the photo the masked pipe maker is working on a Bakelite stem at the 36 grit wheel. No, Todd is not that bashful, it's just that Bakelite dust is a bit of a hazard. One wonderful experience was watching Todd work with that 36 grit wheel. He has amazing control with this normally coarse and unforgiving tool. In Todd's hands its capable of extremely fine work. His skill with this and other tools is extraordinary, and of course, so are his pipes!
It's been so long since I posted news to the site--I'm afraid I'm a bit behind. 2010 has been a very exciting year so far! As usual it started with the St. Louis pipe show in February, which is always great fun, and has also served as the yearly marker in my wonderful adventure of pipe making. This year I drove up the day before the show instead of leaving at 4AM the morning of. As well as a little more sleep, this allowed me to take advantage of the club's hospitality suite at the hotel. It was great to wind down after the drive by sharing a pipe or two with friends.
Specs: Height: 1.78 " (45 mm) Diameter: 1.62" (41 mm) Overall Length: 5.13" (130 mm) Chamber Diameter: .75" (19 mm) Chamber Depth: 1.38" (35 mm) Weight: 1.5 oz (43 grams)
Made from Italian Plateaux Briar with a Boxwood endcap and a German Ebonite stem with a Delrin tenon.
Well, to make a long story short, my back recovered without the need for surgery, and after a brief vacation I’m back to work, and back in the shop. I completed four pipes over my summer vacation--two Bulldogs, a partial blast (Opus 2 #91), and a natural blast (Opus 2 #92), and two freehand pokers, one smooth (Freehand #93) with a black and white ebony end cap, and one blast (Freehand #90) with a boxwood stem insert. The shop has also seen a few nice improvements, including a new insolated garage door with a row of windows! See the Workshop Tour for pictures of the current tooling and setup.
Terrible timing.... Just as my busy work schedule winds down, and intense family activities calm, and I'm finally seeing extended pipe making time looming on the horizon I find I'm laid up with a bad back! Why now? Of course there is never a good time for a bad back... I'll soon be answering the call to make pipes I'm designing and planing now. I'm also channeling my pent up pipe making energy into planning studio improvements, working a bit on the website, sending out a newsletter, and just planning the next round of adventures in pipe making. Certainly time well spent, but I'm really looking forward to putting my hands to briar and ebonite!
The St. Louis Pipe Club hosted another great show Saturday. While I don’t have a long history at pipe shows, St. Louis was the first, and has so far been the most encouraging. It seems to be a good fit in terms of size and clientele, and for the third year running this show has marked my progress.
I absolutely love pipe shows, and I had a great time in St. Louis Saturday. I was hoping to get up there Friday night to enjoy the hospitality and fellowship offered by the club, not to mention getting some sleep, but it turns out I had a gig Friday night, and could not leave for St. Louis until early, very early Saturday morning. Unlike last year, the drive was smooth sailing and I arrived in plenty of time to set up my table.
I'm extremely excited about my new website! Kathy at KT web design has done a wonderful job. She has an amazing eye for color, detail, and placement of unique design elements that draw attention to the important aspects of the site. Her designs are beautiful, focused, easy to navigate, and highly effective. With this new design, updates have gone from a long drawn out chore to quick, easy, and enjoyable--I can now focus on making pipes instead of fussing with the website!