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Talbert Mad Scientist #1302H 

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 Price: $SOLD
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For starters, let me direct you to the extensive Pipe Blog article I posted about this pipe, and the steps involved in creating its design. It was quite a process! Where the previous "Nightmare Blowfish" arrived happily "readymade" in the form of one simple sketch, this one took a considerably longer time in gestation until I found and tweaked the final shape I wanted. This was largely due to it being a more complex project internally - The bowl is an elevated calabash-style with a central airhole at the bottom tilted down, leading into the open expansion chamber inside of the shank section. I've done several like this in the past with meerschaum-lined expansion chambers, but in this case it's bare briar, as space was tight internally due to the flared profile lines of the shank. Once the expansion chamber layout was settled, dubbing it the "Mad Scientist" came naturally, since I've been experimenting with expansion chamber pipes since the late 90's and they've always been an interest of mine. (Hipster Pipemaker - I've been doing expansion chamber pipes since before they were cool)

Like the Nightmare Blowfish, this has a handcut German black ebonite stem with a polished maple burl decor ring. The body of the pipe is one piece, carved from a single block of briar, with no removable sections or separate parts, despite the "Cup in bowl" appearance. It was my ideal sort of project, a fascinating combination of wood turning and hand carving that resulted in a unique design.

I liked the color combination of the last Halloween pipe so much I carried it over here - The black sandblasted texture set against the natural briar makes a striking contrast, in my opinion. The smooth briar has been given a light wipe with natural oil to give it a subtle golden orange tint, very seasonal, which matches the coloring of its custom, hand-sewn bag. My wife does a new Halloween bag design each year, and this year is a fun harvest-festival theme with tea-dyed skull beads. As I said in the other Halloween pipe's description, I know most pipe bags are immediately discarded, but these are so color-matched with the pipes that I hope they'll be displayed together, they're an ideal pairing.

While it might not look light in the specs at 75 grams, it feels quite light for its size in the hand. Also, I love holding the thing - The bowl curvature fits the fingers nicely and it just has the feel of an ideal companion. I wish I could keep it! About the only caution I have for it is to be wary of catching or breaking off the bottom points under the bowl, which taper to relatively thin points and probably would not take well to being dropped.

Will this be the last Halloween pipe for 2013? I don't know - I'd like to do another, but odds are I won't have the time. We'll see...