‘See Pipes Different’ Series: Project B – Dunhill Patent Pipe from 1917, The Birth of Sandblasting

‘See Pipes Different’ Series: Project B – Dunhill Patent Pipe from 1917, The Birth of Sandblasting

TobaccoDays (TD) is committed to showing you; the pipe-maker, the pipe collector, the pipe hobbyist – the pipe world from a different perspective. Every topic covered on TD aims to make you think different. Aims to make you see different. Anything & everything that we can bundle up together and have the final outcome alter an existing attitude on the subject covered, is considered a wonderful day here at TD.

Today we continue with this series which has the aim of highlighting, to our naked eyes, the beautiful & varied texture on our beloved pipes. Yes, we hold our pipes, caress them, enjoy them & smoke them day in and day out.

Do we ever miss some of the small details though? Can we look at them any deeper? Of course we can.

To assist that process, I went out and hired a professional photographer (high-speed camera, strobe lights, big set-up & all) and took macro pictures of pipes to focus on their surface, their texture. The next phase of the project required me to find a way to express the beauty of the pipe’s surface. Since I lack any skill in the photo shop arena, I went out and hired a professional graphic designer and together we art-directed the project and took it to it’s final stages. The question of – How do we show the beauty of the pipe’s surface & make sure that we ‘really see it’ was the one thing guiding this project. While the pipe’s surrounding’s are definitely photo-shopped, the actual surface of the pipe remains 100% untouched.

You are looking at the actual pipe surface of a Dunhill Patent pipe made in 1917, as it looks in reality.

What I love about this image is that you can see the so-called birth of the sandblasting process. This was right around the time when those pioneers at the Dunhill factory first began to use sandblasting as a technique to apply texture to the briar’s surface. You can feel the lack of knowledge & the high element of experimentation that was taking place. Thank the heavens that they did not give up and they continued to look for a way to make this process work.


Because the surface of this pipe resembled the look of flowing, layered lava, I added that exact surrounding to this image. I think the lava does a good job of emphasizing the good job the Dunhill employees did with sandblasting, this portion of the pipe. You can sense the feeling of satisfaction that the blaster of this pipe likely felt upon completion.

And an additional background with the same pipe. This time a calm wood flooring to serve as the backdrop to this spectacular piece.

If you missed the first project in this series, another sandblasted pipe but this one made by J. T Cooke, please visit this link to see that pipe and all it’s glorious surface detail.
All of the pipes you see from this series are available for download in two sizes.
1. Very Large Files that will produce decent sized Posters.
2. Smaller Files, suitable for use as Desktop Screen Savers.

Feel free to download these files and place them inside the pipe smoking area of your home or other suitable space.
To download the files, please visit the TobaccoDays Flickr Page, found here.

To give you an idea of how beautiful these images can be either printed out on paper or placed on your desktop, scroll down to see an image with size 2048 x 1271, 1/3rd the maximum size.


Upon visiting the link, each image is marked either ‘Large File’ or ‘Desktop Computer Screen Saver’.  Click on the image and in the lower right corner you will see three consecutive dots (. . .), click on them, a menu will appear and you should select ‘Download/All Sizes’ & you are taken to a page showing you the various sizes available for that image. Select a suitable size for your needs by clicking on it & at top of page you can click download and that is what will happen.

If you have any difficulty downloading, feel free to send me an email by clicking here. I am happy to help.

I do hope you enjoy looking at & displaying these pictures as much as I did producing them.

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Sample Image available for download



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  1. Roman Kovalev - January 16, 2014

    Gorgeous pictures, David! And very beautiful blast!

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