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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Here comes Halloween

Jack-o-laternImage via Wikipedia
What a difference a month can make! As I write this, I am launching into full-time work on this year's Halloween pipes, which will probably take all my time for the next two months. It's a great way to work and enjoy the season, because I get my Halloween vibe stretched out for two solid months, instead of just October. I'm only doing a few pipes this year, don't have time for more, and am instead going to focus on making the best three or four pipes that I can, instead of trying to do a whole set.
This year's theme, as I mentioned elsewhere, is "Classical Pipes gone Mad" - Something that's probably my favorite style of pipe to do, anyway. I'm getting to this late, but this year has been nuts, and our August was full of surprises... Not least of which is that we finally took some time off, our first semi-vacation since 2001 (We didn't actually go anywhere, just collapsed here and didn't go into the workshop for a while). This coincided with finally getting the last of our French officialdom entanglements DE-tangled, so we splurged a bit by getting a Netflix subscription and just being lazy for a little while.  We've added some much-needed tools to the workshop, and tomorrow sees the final big addition to our work here with the arrival of a more powerful sandblasting compressor.  It's going to be very nice indeed to be back in the sandblasting business!
Here are a few Halloween pipe sketches so far:

This one's for a request for a billiard or Zulu derivation. The one up top was actually the last idea sketched, but it's my favorite by far.  I rejected several of these for being too similar to pipes I'd made before - I hate repeating myself. The "insane blowfish" project is actually progressing much worse. Oddly, it's easy to take a recognizable classical shape and twist it into bizarre proportions and have it remain recognizable, but blowfish vary so crazily all over the appearance spectrum that making anything that is obviously a blowfish "gone wrong" is proving more difficult than I expected. Might have to wait till the next full moon for proper inspiration on this one...