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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Revisitations

Before I ramble about today's pipe pic, let me mention that the Talbert Nosferatu, one of the more outstanding examples of my very first set of Halloween pipes, is now relisted on ebay. This poor pipe has had a time - first the auction was sabotaged by someone who's since been banned from ebay, and then the listing was refused by an ebay employee for being "drug paraphernalia"!! Truly, we live in strange days.

Today's pipe photo is the latest Moebius Bolus, done for a special order dating back several months at least. I don't know if it is sold yet - haven't heard back from the fellow who ordered it - so for the moment it is lurking patiently on my desk. It's a fantastic piece, with an incredible sandblast, but I can't take that much credit since the briar was extremely blast-friendly. It did make me think of saying a couple words about revisiting pipe designs, though.

Unfortunately, the problem is that I'm not sure what to say!

On the one hand, doing version after version of a design can often improve the original concept, whittling away rough edges here and there, and tweaking the positive aspects to turn a good shape into an excellent one. It's an evolutionary process that often sees the latter copies looking much more attractive and polished than the earlier examples.

However, there is a flip side to this - Often this process of polishing can also smooth down the very rough edges that give a design vitality, transforming it from a flawed-yet-dynamic original to a very civilized later version that has lost the sense of energy in the design. There is a fine line between smoothing away the wrinkles to create a more attractive result, and smoothing away the wrinkles to create a more dull result. I'm pleased that this particular Moebius Bolus is still plenty strange looking, and I can only hope that, as I make others, the evolution of the shape will be positive!