I always forget how exhausting it is to prepare for the Chicago show. There is only three weeks left, and I have fourteen pipes to go…mostly tree barks. Fortunately the stummles are already shaped. Each day I have to carve the finish and make the stem. The hardest part is actually staying in the workshop during the day. Spring time is upon us, and the urge to just sit outside and relax is overwhelming. After the show, I plan to do a lot more sitting around and relaxing in the garden.
I just updated the pipes page with several new briars. I’m especially fond of a new finish I’ve created, called Aspen Tree Bark. There is no stain applied to the wood, nor heat, to get the black grain to stand out. The white portion of the finish is virgin briar, which darkens a bit once waxed. The pipe will colour like a virgin finish, gradually getting darker with smoking. I also took this finish one step farther, by applying an orange stain to create yet another finish called Tiger Stripe. I would love to know what you think about these new finishes!