Re-made London Clay Pipe No. 2

Posted on March 22, 2011

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This clay pipe re-make is a gift for my girlfriend’s mentor, the artist Sarah Hocombe. Sarah introduced her to mudlarking on the banks of the Thames and often paints frescos on brick fragments dating back to the fire of London. My girlfriend and I found the bowl for this one beneath the Millennuim Bridge on the North bank during a very hungover Saturday larking session. It’s a rather unusual design and the only one like it that I have found yet.

Selecting the appropriate pipe components

This one was quite tricky because the stem was broken very close to the bowl, leaving me with a large connecting surface requiring a very thick stem tube. I was worried that this might not work because it is such a dainty bowl and a big fat stem might look incongruous. I decided to try it out anyway and give it quite a long tapered stem.

The three stem sections arranged on the brass tubing

The next step is simply to glue them all up. For this one I used superglue mixed with clay dust as it sets much faster than the epoxy. It seems to be equally strong too.

Aligning the sections

Superglue impregnated with clay dust

The stem all glued-up

Once it’s all glued-up it needs to be shaped and finished. I do this with a small belt-grinder, some files and various grades of sandpaper.

Pre shaping

Post shaping

And that’s it really. A fully functional re-made London clay pipe.

The completed pipe

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Posted in: Clay Pipes