I have been very busy these last three weekends. In hamilton I held two courses for the mens shed. The first, on Saturday 21st September, was a workshop on making bamboo pipes. There were a good dozen there, and they returned the next day to turn pipes out of wood. Everybody completed something each day that they could play.
One of the participants showed me some cherry sood from a fallen down tree. The would was "to die for". It had really nice color and was showing some signs of aplting on the outer layers of the log. On explaining my interest, this kind person took me to the place where this log was to be found.
To cut a long story short, I now have more than eighty billets of wood ready to turn pipes from. Only a few show so much deterioration that I may not get a flute from them.
The following weekend I was playing "Kaylees" [please excuse the spelling, but no-one in their right mind would want to spell the word the way it is spelt!]. Good fun. Ecept some pipeplayers forget that the pipe [=Irish whistle] goes sharp when blowed too hard. Have you ever tried playing the fiddle next to a pipe player who is loud and nine or ten cents sharp. Ouch!!!! [a cent is a 100th of a whole tone.]
The third event was a conference in Auckland where I sold a dozen or so pipes. One lady wanted on old model pipe made from spalted Lophomyrtus or "Coppersheen". Coppersheen is usually so small as a shrub you cannot harvest wood from it. This coppersheen was a large tree. I stored it outside where it would get the rain wind. When I came to turn it the wood had the most beautiful colors. It was not playing so well, so i brought it home and fiddled with it this morning. The pipe responded so well, I am finding it hard to part with. It looks wonderful [with a little polishing on the buffer] and sounds very wrm and "woody". I am so glad it is going to someone who will cherish it.
Cheers Chris the pipemaker.