comes to the choice of what material to use for cutting our stems we've grown
to be rather conservative..
Starting out making pipes I experimented with various Acrylic and Lucite rods in a range of exotic colors and patterns but never really liked working with the material or the harder more cold feeling it gives when clenching. After a while when starting to get more conscious of design aspects we decided to skip them all together as they add a certain "Fancy" look to a pipe that is just not suitable for what we try to achieve..
Saying all this I’m talking about the more extreme colors and patterns that some Lucite has, we might make a pipe or two with amberite acrylic in the future who knows..
I recall discussing stem materials with good friend and college Bengt Carlson once.
We were talking about the use of Cumberland..Now Bengt is even more conservative and strict as to what he uses for shank rings and stem materials than we are.
I think I own the only Bengt pipe made with Cumberland pictured below.
Bengt only uses horn and boxwood for shank extensions and ebonite rod for
stems..His thoughts of Cumberland was that it only added character to a blasted
pipe as on smooths it distracted the eye away from the grain on the bowl too
Now I do love Cumberland but over time have adopted his thoughts and on smooths we only add it in the case of making a pipe that is marked for being a sandblast but turns out too nice grain wise to blast and already has a stem cut out for it.
Quality Ebonite is produced by only a few companies in the world today..In fact only 2 manufacturers that I know of with good enough results to use for high grade pipes exist.
And believe me Making ebonite at this quality level is not easy and production is costly plus the market for it is small... only pipe makers , fountain pen makers and some crafters of musical instruments use it.
The last couple of years we've been using Ebonite from the rather new German Ebonite manufacturer called Schönberger Ebonite .
I just love how their product have developed and their consious strive to produce a high quality product showing great Interest in what their customers think and how they can approve..
They have been working hard developing what they call Ebonite Swirls wich is basically cumberland with a swirl on the end in stead of the classical birdseye like dots and producing a different kind of "grain" pattern..
Now these rods come in a variety of different colors and me and Sara debated long on whether they would look good on our pipes...I ended up ordering some just out of curiosity and wanting to see it with my own eyes..I’m happy we did and especially fell in love with the moss green color they produce shown to the left below and on the stem under it
The pipe pictured below is a new shape we've been working on thant we named the Speeding Egg and I'll portray it better in another post... but this pic shows the moss green swirl well and the picture is more true to its actual color and shows the pattern well.
I think this color looks real well on darker blasts like on this pipe and look forward to play with the other colors We've got and what combinations of stain to use them with.
Well sorry for rambling about stem materials what I really wanted to say was:
Hey we got new Cumberland Swirls