From the idea to the final result.
I was thinking about coming back writing on my blog to present, among other things, my most particular works. Why? In a blog page I can simultaneously insert photos, videos and text descriptions without any limit, unlike the social platforms. These force people to post more and more synthetic contents, with small images, short videos, low resolution. Sometimes I find it paradoxical that we have very advanced technologically advanced phones and cameras, with the possibility of taking pictures at very high resolutions, and then looking at them on tiny screens in squares of a few pixels!
Going back to talking about my work, I present on this page one of my last sculpted pipes.
The carved bowl represents a stylization of a bird of prey (in my head it is a crow).
The inspiration came from my passion for symbolic animals, I particularly love these stylizations that recall ancient sculptures (some see something Romanesque, Gothic, Viking … someone told me that he sees references to fascist art! ). In fact one of the greatest sources of inspiration is one of the illustration artists that I most value, John Howe (in the past I made a pipe from one of his concepts for the Hobbit movies). In fact, this pipe was born from a “deformation” of his drawing of a dwarven war ax (you can find this drawing in his collection of illustrations “A Middle-earth Traveler: Sketches from Bag End to Mordor“.
The crow’s head recalls instead an old sculptural work of mine, a prop made for the metal band Vinterblot, or a “stick” carved in the shape of a crow’s head (you can watch it in this page).
I liked the idea of representing the bird in its whole figure; the main problem in the design phase was to position the tobacco chamber. This problem was solved by “turning” the bird towards the smoker’s mouth and placing the combustion chamber on the “back”.
The wood chosen for the bird of prey sculpted bowl is Tuscanian briar, a very clean piece, of dimensions and thickness big enough to be able to work easily and make a perfectly round “base”. The mouthpiece is made of Elforyn (I’ve used it for the first time for this pipe). It is an artificial substitute of ivory, food grade and of the highest quality, very pleasant to work and with a very nice light grain. The “touching” feel is also very pleasant.
For the bowl, after shaping the band saw and drilling, I’ve used the classic abrasive pad for a first rough shaping, then small carbide bits for further shaping and to better define volumes, iwasaki files, and finally gouges . In addition to the classic micro gouges, I’ve used standard-sized gouges (I have several gouges that I use for the larger sculpture works, most of them vintage ones restored by me), in particular I’ve found a flat “spoon” gouge really useful, that I recently added to my set. I hope to find a similar one of reduced length, to work more comfortably on the pipes.
Initially I thought of dyeing the Bird of prey pipe and using a dark mouthpiece, but I wanted to avoid “heaviness”. So I opted to leave the briar in its natural shades, also because of the beauty and cleanliness of the briar.
Here are some photos of the finished work.
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