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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Travel Castaway Kirsten Cargo Craft, Cape Horn
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Castaway Kirsten Cargo Craft, Cape Horn
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-12-22 7:15 pm   Permalink

Back to the nautical aspects of the Kirsten family history:

Here is a very contemplative underwater video of the MS Valeria, built in 1958, (I was 3 then). It sank in 1982 near the port of Rijeka in Croatia. It had been re-christened "El Hawi" by then, and was owned by a Saudi company. Apparently it sank because it was way overloaded with ceramic tiles !!?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVPu_HSoUWA

Here is a model of the Valeria in 1958:


This baby is about 4 feet long! These elaborate models were built by the ship yard company for display in the ship owner's office. Here is a beautiful example of the first Valeria from 1937 ( a steamship still):



The detail and craftsmanship on these is amazing, most of them ended up in maritime museums. Wouldn't mind having a family one in my Tiki lounge! The plaque talks about the Kirsten Line being called the "Shakespeare Fleet" because of the names...



Also wish I had a fitting Captain's cap:



Or a set of this tableware:



Sigh, collectibles...

Almost forgot this matchbook:





[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2008-12-22 19:19 ]


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Tissy
Member

Joined: Jan 07, 2009
Posts: 1
From: Australia
Posted: 2009-01-07 8:11 pm   Permalink

Hi Cousin Sven,

I'm a Great Granddaughter of your ancestor that went to Fiji and then settled in Australia. Your sister Jessica has been on to me again to update the Australian section of the Family Tree so whilst searching out a thing or two, I came across this great forum. It has made for some fascinating reading. Thanks muchly. I just loved your book too.

Aloha from Australia,
Tissy






 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-01-26 10:35 am   Permalink

Wow, it's amazing to hear that I have distant relatives from a South Seas captain, now living in Australia! I love the internet.

Now folks, behold what I just won on e-bay. This would be a cool item on its own for anyone who is:

1.) ...a Kirsten Pipe collector
2.) ...a Tiki shirt collector
3.) ...working on a book about Tiki shirts
4.) ...named "Kirsten"

But to have ALL these elements come together made this a once-of-a-lifetime offering for me...

Let's view the main feature:



This would be a pretty cool shirt for me to have, yeah..
But now, lets turn it around:



What the...! Did somebody make this up !?



This is as if history retro-actively conspired on me to blow my mind . I mean what are the chances...
Even though this baby is way too small in size for me to wear, it is such a classic artifact (as an example of a period and style) that it seems like a cliche, like a pink Cadillac, or a Diner neon sign. I owned this the minute it was put up!
I love when things come full circle like this!

Now I just have to change my name to "Ed".


 
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8FT Tiki
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Joined: Nov 30, 2003
Posts: 1226
From: Kansas City, MO
Posted: 2009-01-28 3:48 pm   Permalink

UNREAL!!!!!!!
Holy Smokes, Great find "Ed"


 
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Zeta
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: Feb 13, 2007
Posts: 2049
From: Atlantis/Basque Country/Spain/Mexico
Posted: 2009-02-03 4:48 pm   Permalink

Magnifico! Tiki synchronicity, destiny, miracle, serendipity... Weird and cool! What are the odds?!

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4351
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-02-03 6:29 pm   Permalink

Sven,

That is amazing. The perfect storm! Congrats on that score!

When is that damn shirt book coming out?

DC


 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 209
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2011-03-13 6:56 pm   Permalink

That shirt is innnnncredible! I've never seen anything like it. Never.

Okay, first off, I'm also a pipe smoker and collector. I collect everything - briar, unusual corncobs, lots and lots of meerschaum...and Kirstens. In my entire collection of 60+ pipes, there are only five that I smoke. Three of these are Kirstens. Things they have going for them (no, I swear I'm not a Kirsten rep, I just love 'em a whole lot)
-- Easy to clean. Whole pipe comes apart. Use the ramrod to force a wad of tissue down the bore, empty out the gunk well at the end, occasionally put a pipe cleaner through the mouthpiece, and it's good.
-- No gurgle. No gunk. The stem radiates minute amounts of heat from the smoke, condensing it, and the tarry liquid portion ends up trapped in the radiator stem. If you don't have time to clean it after a smoke, a twist of the valve that is the gunk trap at the hell will lock the liquid in the stem, so it can't leak into the bowl or into your pocket.
-- I find that they stay lit almost ridiculously well. Don't pack these bowls in stages like you would a regular pipe; fill the bowl to overflowing, tamp gently, check the draw, then do the usual char light-tamp-relight and you should be set.
-- Bowls unscrew, so you can swap out bowls to switch between, say, aromatic and English, or to give the pipe a new look. And with looks...
Straight, quarter bent or full bent radiators. Three sizes (two on full bent). Radiators come in silver, brass or black. Mouthpieces come in black, gray marbled or brown marbled. Bowls come in about six or so shapes, in three or four sizes, in countless finishes: various shades of smooth, brown or black sandblast, part-sandblast, carved, etc. You can really mix-and-match your ideal look. I prefer the full-bents with an optional 'pedestal' valve that lets them balance upright on a table, waiting to be picked up - very elegant, esp. as a black pipe with one of their meerschaum bowls. They have new Turkish meerschaum bowls (about $100) and a few vintage 1960s bowls carved by various employees, which are (I'll warn you) not waxed, so they won't color as quickly as a waxed meer, but they WILL color. These are $30, and get 'em while they last - I guess an employee found a stash of 'em in the factory.

The shops: One is very new and has no real specific decor. The other (at Fishermens' Terminal in Ballard) is the old shop, and it has a bare-bones, subdued nautical theme, with some old maps framed and a few bells and ships' clocks and nautical gifty stuff. This is where you want to go if you're buying a Kirsten; it's fun to look through the doorway into the back and see eggcrates full of hundreds of briar bowls, which are turned on a lathe by machine and then hand-finished. This shop will also have the big basket of $10 'seconds' bowls to dig through, most of the stock of old meerschaum bowls, and if the guy working is an older man with white hair, asking him may help you get a few vintage bowls to choose from, like the old 'staghorn' carved bowls, depending on what's poking around (the vintage meer bowls are 'staghorn' carvings, too). They'll help you assemble your ideal pipe.

My Kirstens: I have a black Esquire (small full-bent) with a gray mouthpiece, a vintage silver Designer (large full-bent) with a massive Danish-style plateau freehand bowl - about 100 of these bowls were made as custom one-offs in the 70s - and a brown mouthpiece; a silver Horizon (small quarter bent) again with brown, and a 1930s or 40s 1st gen. Kirsten straight, which I don't smoke, as well as a whole bunch of bowls, and I built a display for 'em, which I'll photograph if anyone is interested.

My display has room for (in addition to the four pipes) ten bowls on the main shelf, three more below (that are filled with vintage bowls including the Missouri Meerschaum corncob bowls that were made only in 1969) and six more off the side, for a total of 19. Five spots are left. If someone here wanted to carve some tiki themed bowls, I want one - very, very much. My advice would be to contact (or even visit) Kirsten's Ballard shop, tell them you want to carve some bowls for yourself, and see if they'll supply you with pre-drilled rough blanks with the tobacco chamber already finished. If no other TCers who want to look into carving bowls are in Seattle, let me know here and I'll visit the shop for you and make the inquiry in person. Remember though: briar is tough stuff, a bit harder than your average hardwood, but it can be carved. Also, if you prefer to carve very shallow relief designs onto the surface, an already-turned and "finished", smooth bowl might be what you want. The shapes are shown here:
http://www.kirstenpipe.com/page_customization.shtml
...but the details aren't shown well, so I'll elaborate. The "billiard" is out-of-production, as is the "dynasty", though some may still be available. The "billiard" is shown well. The "columbus" has a conical bottom that ends in a smooth, round bulge near the top. The "brandy" is a bulbous brandy-snifter form, a round bulge that then tapers. The "mandarin" is a brandy variant that comes out to a semi-sharp edge. And the "dynasty" is simply a mandarin with the top rim sloped inward rather than flat. The "bulldog" is a take-off on the standard briar bulldog, and also has the inward-sloped top. The brandy, mandarin/dynasty, bulldog and columbus have the thickest walls where carving could be done.

Let me know who wants to do what and I can help if you're not in Seattle. I can also buy a prospective carver a good pick out of the cheap $10 'seconds' bin in the shape of their choice (but then, you can always ask them to do it for you - if I do it, though, I won't charge anything for doing it and I'll look for something without existing carving or any severe pits or fills).


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Benzart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2011-03-13 9:42 pm   Permalink

Hey Torchguy and Freakytiki. YES, I would be interested in carving some bowls. Who do you want as far as the tiki and whatnot. I've not carved pipes yet but have a few blanks sent me by FreakyTiki
Send me details and info?
Cheers,, Benzart
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-03-13 11:39 pm   Permalink

Hey that is great guys: After this thread being in a slumber for two years, this might actually happen!
Torch Guy, glad to meet another Kirsten pipe fan.

Benz-man, sign me up for one Kirsten Tiki pipe bowl, pleeeze! I would favor a Marquesan head...but then your Maori moko are real fine, too, I often behold the one I got from you.


 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 209
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2011-03-14 05:02 am   Permalink

I'd advise carving with the draw hole and tobacco chamber already bored; Kirstens are picky about how those are shaped, and the metal cap that holds in the bowl screw (and the screw itself) have to fit.

Would these be a one-sided design or a repeating pattern? Where can I see examples of your work, to figure out what I might want? And what might the price be, approximately?


 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 209
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2011-03-14 07:19 am   Permalink

Here's my Kirsten pipe display. I spotted this (1930s?) wooden wall shelf at a junk shop and immediately knew what I'd do with it. The "Kirsten" marque was trimmed from a brochure.


Noted:
1- Horizon (small quarter-bent) silver, brown mouthpiece, vintage 'staghorn' meerschaum Billiard bowl.
2- Esquire (small full-bent with pedestal) black, gray mouthpiece, extra-large Dynasty bowl.
3- Designer (large full-bent with pedestal) 1970s vintage. "Heritage" tarnished-silver, brown mouthpiece, plateau 'Danish freehand' bowl (one of approx. 100 custom one-offs). This pipe belonged to Paul Reasoner, original owner of the now-closed Southcenter Mall (Tukwila, WA) Tinder Box, and is engraved with his name.
4- Vintage 1930s-40s 1st gen. straight Kirsten (no o-rings) with 1969 Missouri Meerschaum bowl.
I smoke all but the 1st. gen. model.

5- Briar Mandarin, smooth finish.
6- Same with black sandblast outside and dark smooth top.
7- Mandarin, dark red-brown, deeply carved with sharp outer edge, vintage early 1970s.
8- Dynasty, smooth finish with rough sandblast patches. Large.
9- Columbus, smooth finish with rough black sandblast patches. Large.
10- Bulldog, smoothed sandblast with smooth ring and smooth inward-sloped top. Large.
11- Tulip (shape is no longer produced) vintage 70s, light brown smooth, inward-sloped top. Small.
12- Tulip, same vintage, darker smooth with black carved crosshatching. Large.
13- Bavarian (shape no longer produced) smooth finish, vintage 70s.
14- Billiard (shape no longer produced) black smoothed sandblast with light, smooth top.
15- Vintage 1969 Missouri Meerschaum corncob bowl, Billiard shape.
16- Very dark brown, heavily carved Billiard - original bowl from the 1st. gen. above.
17- Vintage early-60s 'staghorn' meerschaum, Columbus. Been smoked a few times, hoping to color it.
18- Same details as 17 but stippled 'staghorn', Mandarin.
A, B, C, D, E- Spots waiting for bowls.

If I get one or two tiki-themed bowls, they'll go on those holders where the meers are - I'll move the meers up top since I'm hoping to get one or two more eventually. Spot A on the main shelf is waiting for another briar I don't have, such as a Brandy, or a vintage shape like a 'Midway'. The chains on either side are from clocks hanging above. My collecting rooms aren't tiki, poly-pop or mid-mod per se (and photos probably won't end up here - don't want to put much non-tiki stuff on a tiki board) but they ARE jammed with stuff, so wall space is at a premium, hence the hooks keeping the weight chains aside so I could shoehorn this display in there. I like having everything Kirsten-related on this one compact display.

[ This Message was edited by: TorchGuy 2011-03-14 17:38 ]


 
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Benzart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2011-03-14 9:42 pm   Permalink

Well I have 2 Briar blanks and 1 meerschaum but I'm sure I can get More. Are the Kirsten bowl blanks available?? Also, I got these blanks from HodaddyHank and have not done anything with them for a year or so, but I'm getting excited now that I see there are peeps collecting them!!
My Fac Book account can be found HERE:
http://www.facebook.com/benzart
Just look through my photos and you can ALSO see some of my works on my NEW Web Site www.benzart.net Both sites have plenty of works to view
I'm Partial to Maori but love the Hawaiian, the Marqs and just about Anything which will be detailed enough to be a smoking pipe.
Also if you have special designs I would love to recreate them for You!
My email is benzart@gmail.com/
Cheers

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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 209
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2011-03-15 07:53 am   Permalink

Are your blanks drilled as per Kirstens or are they just raw material? And, if the latter, may I ask as to the source of the meerschaum blank? Kirsten meerschaum bowls are carved in Turkey, but Turkish law prohibits the export of uncarved block meerschaum, so many "blocks" available for carving are what's called 'chip' or 'pressed' meerschaum which is meerschaum carvers' scraps, either chipped or powdered, then pressed into blocks with a binding agent; it will neither carve well nor color at all.

If your blanks of briar are just raw blocks, let me know and I'll try to pick up some Kisten blanks that are pre-drilled with the bore.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11193
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-03-15 12:09 pm   Permalink

Benz! YOU're getting excited? I am positively beside myself with the prospect of holding a pipe that has a Tiki bowl AND says Kirsten on it!




Torch Guy, you have a passion for fire, I can tell: Collecting Tiki torches AND pipes! Crazy, man. Here is a handy guide so you know how to pick the right size of pipe! :



Benzart is the man for the job. He can carve a Polynesian deity into ANY material. He ain't cheap, but quality craftsmanship never is.


 
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TorchGuy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 24, 2008
Posts: 209
From: Renton, WA
Posted: 2011-03-15 12:22 pm   Permalink

And that was back when Kirstens were simple - four stem sizes, but all silver with black mouthpieces; four shapes of bowl in one size and one finish. Today there are eight stems, three mouthpiece colors, and I can't even guess how many colors and decorative finishes of bowls in three or four sizes and six or so shapes.

I'm headed out-of-town until Sunday, but next Monday or Tuesday I'll go to the Kirsten store, tell them the idea and ask if I can buy some blanks which have the tobacco chamber and bottom hole already drilled. I'll be able to send you these (at whatever they cost me + my shipping costs) plus a bowl screw and the cuplike ring that fits on the bottom of the bowl and holds the bowl screw in place; the finished bowls need to have this ring fit on them.

I'm not certain I'll be able to afford some of this custom work, but at the very least I can help get him the bowls to carve.

[ This Message was edited by: TorchGuy 2011-03-15 14:34 ]


 
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