Downtown Toronto Pipe Club

September 19th, 2014

September Closer

The DTPC smoking season officially closed up with our September Smoker! It was nice to see such a big crowd — and we were certainly lucky with the weather: I think it was nicer and warmer than our meetings in July or August.

Mike Parks was kind enough to make the trek up from Bowmanville to present one of the raffle pipes to Jack DePoe. Below are some pictures of the pipes in their early stages:

The pipes in their original state.

After being blasted by various members of the DTPC.

Finally, the blasting having been finished and the pipes stained and stamped with "DTPC&LSPC".

If the weather forecast appears nice enough in October I’ll put out an email for a “flash mob” Smoker — but no promises!

September 9th, 2014

Parks Art Deco Set

In the last of our series, pipe maker Michael Parks spends a few minutes talking about something not directly pipe-related: the process of creating an Art Deco inspired seven-day set of cigar holders.

September 9th, 2014

Parks on Calabashes

In this video, recorded at our September BBQ, pipe maker Michael Parks discusses the art and technical challenges of the making of calabash pipes.


February 17th, 2013

The Grouse Pipe

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:

  1. 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.
  2. A “bird’s eye” rim.
  3. An etched Damascus ring in the stem, hearkening back to vintage shotguns. (Unfortunately my camera didn’t really capture the etching.)
  4. 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.