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Talbert Halloween Pipe #1603H "Vampire" 

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 Price: $SOLD
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This pipe has quite a protracted story behind it! It ended up taking two weeks before it was finally finished, with a very substantial redo of the stain colors at the last minute. But let me back up first and talk concept - I knew going in that this was going to be the Vampire pipe, and I'll distinguish that from being either a Dracula pipe or a Nosferatu pipe in fundamental ways. A Dracula pipe would be considerably more refined in style, and all-smooth, and probably some sort of long-stemmed piece. A Nosferatu pipe I've already done, all savage undead viciousness. This is a step between the two, part beautiful and stylish, part blackened and wicked, and all pointy (I should note here that the points on the pipe were arranged carefully to not poke the hand when it's being held, either in the left hand or the right). I seem to have a thing for vampires, I also did a Halloween pipe called the Croglin Vampire some years ago, and my Vampire Halloween pipes are some of my favorites.

In technical and stylish matters, the stem is handcut German cumberland, the stem rings are polished copper (Not brass, which I use more often. I wanted copper here for the slight reddish hue of the polished metal, to better match the red colors of the pipe, and also I expect it to antique rather nicely...) and the stem ring is bocote. The pipe is all one piece of briar, despite the strong separation of the sandblasted and smooth elements. It was shaped to the grain while keeping a stylistic focus on a very swooping and pointy visual motif - Some of my favorite views are the bowl top view and the left side view, where one can see how all the grain lines flow together to literally create the shape, top and sides. The bird's-eye view is quite spectacular, with the entire front of the bowl being a huge field of intricate bird's-eye points that are almost magnifying-glass-small.

The sandblasted shank and rear section of the pipe had a strange and interesting journey to their final finish - I originally stained the sandblasted section a dark reddish brown, before finally remasking the pipe, reblasting that section, and changing the color to jet black. I discussed the full reasoning behind this on our Facebook page so I'll refrain from reposting it all here so as not to make this catalog page longer than the Dead Sea Scrolls. The short of it was, I didn't think it was quite as dynamic as I wanted, and switched the color to black to give the pipe a substantially more intense visual "punch".

Followers of our Instagram page are already very familiar with this pipe as I posted a great many progress shots of it, which I'll repost here with a few words of description. Voila, the creation of a Talbert Halloween pipe...

Above you can see the stem, which I started with, along with the sketch that was to set the tone for the final pipe (lower right).

I mostly finished the stem before I even started the rest of the pipe. The silhouette of the shank join will be changed and worked with the full pipe, but I can go ahead and get the bit done early.

The pipe during drilling. This is why I wanted the stem first, because I wanted the bowl and shank to have enough weight to visually balance the stem, and it's easiest to do that with the stem already mostly shaped.

Initial rough shaping. The design comes together.

I really love the bowl top view. I know it's not for everyone, but I enjoy letting the grain flow shape a pipe this way.

Mostly shaped now, though the shank still needs a lot of careful slimming.

The two photos above show the sanding work done to create the contrast stain effect. The black grain coloring is done using a natural process that won't dilute or blend with the final color, letting the grain show through stronger.

Beyond that point, it was a matter of a LOT of masking work to create the distinctive curved sandblasted section on the bowl back, then final staining and polishing. And finally, two weeks later, we have a beautifully wicked piece of functional art!