News from the Pipemaking Workshop with the Funk.
Talbert Pipes Website - Kentucky Fried Popcorn - My Web Comic.

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Looks

Voila, the new blog! Emily and I have been working on this all week, trying to get everything looking just right (The "About" link is still dead as I write this, but will be written up and online shortly). I'm pleased with the new look. I wanted something visually similar to the catalog website with a simple, elegant text-on-white look, while still working within Blogger's framework. I believe the page is a drastic visual improvement over the previous look, and I'm proud to say that this time it's all mine (as in, the pics are all my pipes, the briar block and grain pics are direct photos of briar I have here, I created the title logo, etc). Maybe not as sharp as a genuine professional web designer could do, but I am content.

There are several functional changes, as well. There's a new Search box in the sidebar that allows handy word searching within this blog, for those who want to look up every mention of Halloween pipes. The "heavy use" links have been placed at the top of the blog, giving easy access to our website catalogs (the Catalog link), my Yahoo email address, RSS subscription to our blog, and our Guestbook.

Also, there's a little side story to the title logo photo above. I've had that block of briar for about ten to fifteen years now, IIRC. It's a huge plateau block with stunning grain all around, easily twice the size of my regular plateau blocks. It's from an extremely old stash of briar I got back in the 90's, and has probably been drying since around 1980. I've carried it to a few pipe shows because it makes an excellent table decoration, but as yet have no plans to make a pipe from it. I believe it will make a genuinely stunning pipe, but so far I haven't been inspired to cut into it, and might never be, who knows? There's something very intimidating about a beautiful briar block - not unlike a blank canvas, really - that presents a challenge to the artisan every time they approach. "I'm perfect now", it says, "Are you good enough to change me without ruining me?" Maybe one day we'll find out...