The subject of pipe shapes can, should, and must leave room for discussion about where the interpretation of an existing shape ends and the creation of a new one begins.
The individual definition is ultimately up to the viewer. I draw my inspiration mostly from everyday things. This can be an interesting curve on a piece of furniture, or an object that happens to catch the eye on the dining table. Every now and then, however, I retreat to the library for hours at a time and try to come up with new ideas by studying masters of design and architecture. Quick sketches are a good tool to capture ideas. However, perspective drawing is not easy. To correctly depict complex shapes from a sketch takes some practice, and even then you can’t always fully grasp the object. In such a case, it is a good idea to form a model out of Styrofoam or similar materials. This is faster than using wood and, in case of doubt, you have not sacrificed a valuable piece of briar.
As a designer, you often find pleasure in small details of everyday objects. In this case it was a filigree liqueur glass. A few sketches later, not much was left of the glass, but a new shape was born. The name refers to the shape of a (Cuban) cigar.
The Tuban is the continuation of the Cuban. The goal was to reduce the shape even further. This example shows quite well that sketches do not necessarily have to be beautiful. The main thing is to capture the idea.
One of my favorite shapes is the Dora. On a long train ride, I played with the proportions between the bowl and the stem. Normally, the stem is thinner than the bowl. What happens if you make the stem bigger than the bowl? I found the result very exciting. And it seems that many of my customers feel the same way. The name, by the way, is a reference to a little blue fish from an animated movie. However, I had the characters wrong in my memory.
I greatly admire the work of architect Zaha Hadid. The shape Architect is a tribute to her design. A detail from a coffee table book about Hadid captivated me. I didn’t have a shape in mind at that point. Only after many sketches was it possible to see where the journey could go.
A colleague once received a particularly beautiful block as a gift from another pipe maker, who had it lying in his workshop for a long time without knowing what to do with it. Said colleague was not much different with this piece, however, and so it ultimately came to me. I, too, was at a loss at first. In the end, I changed the shape of the briar only slightly. It was a matter of emphasizing the lines a bit and giving the shape a little more tension. Sometimes nature is the better designer after all.
There was only one lonely, black olive left on the plate….