I was very pleased to pick up a special present (to myself) this past week. It was the first pipe I’ve ever had commissioned, and I asked none other than DTPC member and pipe maker Michael Parks to create it.
Since we both go hunting together in the fall, I thought it fitting to ask for a grouse-themed pipe. I wanted to give him the artistic license to create something without too many constraints, so the only ones I provided were that it wouldn’t be too literal (e.g. a pipe shaped like a grouse) and it would be on the smaller side so it could be smoked while hunting.
The images below show the pipe from the initial planning through to the final product. Some highlights:
- Grouse feathers in the stem, contained in resin. Note that once the stem is in the pipe they are very subtle and mostly hidden — like a grouse in the woods.
- A “bird’s eye” rim.
- An etched Damascus ring in the stem, hearkening back to vintage shotguns. (Unfortunately my camera didn’t really capture the etching.)
- A matching ironwood tamper and pick with a .410 shotgun shell cap.
Mike has done a really amazing job on the blast, creating a craggy ring grain that is just fantastic and wonderful to hold.