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The Talbert Halloween Pumpkin King 

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 Price: $SOLD
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So here he is at last, the 2019 Talbert Halloween Pumpkin King. I know he's late for Halloween this year, but in reality he's late for Halloween of 2016! This pipe has been in process for three years now. It was sometime in late sumer of 2016 when I posted that little sketch scrap on the front page of our site, and it's been tucked up in the left corner of the news feed ever since. Right after I drilled and began this pipe, EVERYTHING began to happen... My wife's mother fell and broke her arm, her father fell and broke HIS arm, his dementia began to set in, and then we had all of 2017 and 2018 spent caring for him until his death, plus Emily having her various cancer and hip surgeries. Each year that passed, I'd do a little work on this pipe but not much, because I frankly just couldn't get into the work with real life so stressful and tragic.

But, this year was the year. I promised myself I'd get it done this year and did, even though it overran the Halloween deadline by more than a wee bit. Still, I'm pleased and I'm glad I waited all this time, because this year I was able to give it proper attention and transform it from a rough idea into a pipe that I really love. In fact, it's one of my favorites of all the Halloween pipes I've done over these past 19 years.

I'll have to ask pardon for getting slightly esoteric here, but I want to talk about the initial concept of the pipe. One idea that I try to put into pipes like this, that pipes don't normally have, is a sense of time... Most pipes just sit there, static and unchanging, but I wanted to try and install a sense of past and future into this piece. I'm speaking of a clear sense that something happened to the pipe just before its current state, and that something else is about to happen. My concept was that the pipe started as some sort of large Author shape, and this is reflected in the stem and remaining shank, but that it has just hatched. Out of the remnants of that prior shape has emerged this twisted Pumpkin King, IMO the best Pumpkin that I've done, and it's essentially grown from the old cracked shank. The gleeful expression is its joy at emergence, and its wicked thrill of what it's going to do next... Thus, past, present, and future that tell a narrative in one static form.

The Pumpkin King combines a variety of techniques from previous Halloween work. The handcut acrylic stem is accompanied by a brown and gold sparkle-streaked custom resin ring that we mixed and cast here. The face features a great deal of artistic brushwork and detailed staining techniques developed over the last few years on other Pumpkins, and the entire bowl is rusticated using the carving techniques that we developed for this year's new rustication finish. In this sense, it's very much a synthesis of a great number of hard-won carving skills.

I should stress that it is a big pipe in every sense - Big in the hand, large bowl capacity, etc, so it's not going to be a shirt-pocket pipe. This is a pipe that's expressly meant for relaxing on the couch and hand-holding on a chilly October night while accompanied by a good drink and an excellent spooky movie. It does have one nod to practicality, though, in that it's a natural sitter, and can be set down anywhere while remaining upright.

The Pumpkin King comes with a handmade custom bag featuring beaded skull ties, seen in the first photo above. This is the first time I've used the Talbert Halloween stamp in three years, and the pipe is appropriately stamped "16 19" to reflect its period of gestation.

This is also a SINGLE UNIQUE PIECE, a one-of-a-kind pipe that won't be replicated, so I'll just have to render my apologies in advance to any folks who might want to order "another one". Ligne Bretagne October pipes are sold in repeated shapes and made to order, but Talbert Halloweens are not. The Pumpkin King is his own beastie.