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I've been a pipe smoker for years, and have quite a range of pipes.  I have pipes made from briar, calabashes, meerschaum, corncob, clay, and even one catlinite pipe.  

I've recently become interested in how clay pipes were made.  I just bought a couple that were made in moulds taken from English Civil War pipes, and since I have an interest in how things were made pre-Industrial Revolution, I set out to find out how it was done.

I would like to try my hand at it, though not having moulds I would either have to make moulds myself or sculpt the pipes by hand.  I know that can be done, because I've seen some excellent examples here:… particularly like the second and fifth in the first picture.)  

Making a mould may only be practical if I'm going to make a lot of the same pipe.  I find the prospect of casting a two-piece mould much less daunting than working with the clay.  The little I've found all talk about drying times between stages, and I've seen the racks that the pipes are supposed to dry in before trimming and firing, but I'd be concerned about the bowls deforming.  Of course, not having worked with clay before, I'm not entirely sure how it behaves.

I need to find some books on working with clay.  Nothing beats working with a material, making mistakes and finding what works, but since practical application is out for the moment, I'll just keep reading and learning from books.  Maybe there's a place around that teaches pottery that I could look into.  

It's rather frustrating, can't get in a forge and can't explore new crafts in the workshop.  I'm glad I'm doing what I'm doing, but some days I really wish I could get back to my shop.


Nick D
United Kingdom
Current Residence: West Yorkshire, UK
Favourite genre of music: Jazz, classical, and Renaissance/Medieval
Favourite cartoon character: Optimus Prime

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Isentosamballerer Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the fav. :)
wyverex Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the :+fav:! :)
ipneto Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the watch :D
ipneto Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the favorite :D
CuSmith Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
Thanks for the favorite!
Danelli-Armouries Featured By Owner May 10, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you for the watch!
Dragonsmithy Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you for the :+devwatch:!
enterprisedavid Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for the watch
toxic-rose666 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional General Artist
It's nice to see another smith on here<3
metal-maniac1977 Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
thanks for the watch:)
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