Who Buys These Pipes?

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Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
United States
I was searching out a pipe maker I had never heard of when I ran across this site. I am amazed at what people are calling pipes today. These crazy shapes are selling as they show a bunch as being sold. So who do you think buys these things? I cannot see guys my age buying them. Is it the younger generation, is it a certain region of the world? I have no idea but it is kind of interesting. Check out the link below.



Nov 23, 2017
While some of those pipes are very freeform in their style, many on that site resemble the stylized blowfish, poker, volcano and horn shapes I see on sp.com by mainstream carvers.
As to who smokes them, I couldn't venture a guess, though I do imagine some people use pipes as fashion accessories and that some of these fall into that category.



Senior Member
Apr 26, 2017
I do. I am not a hipster. I have pipes from 12 of the listed makers. Uwe Maier and Savenko being the most far out specimens I collect. I love them. Ordinary pipes can get boring, although I have many of them. I recently sold all my dunhill and Peterson pipes, as they provided me with no special enjoyment . These prices are retail, many of these can be had for significantly less via auctions.
While the unconventional shape will not appeal to the majority, they do for me. My pipe collection runs the gamut, why not have some unique "art" pipes, makes the collection stronger or at least unique and supports individual pipe artisans at the same time .



Senior Member
Dec 4, 2016
As long as they smoke well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I saw several on that page that I would like, out of my price range though. :crying:



Preferred Member
Dec 3, 2016
There's a couple on there that I wouldn't mine owning ,but as previously stated it's the price.



Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
Vilma Armelinni makes some beautiful pipes which are reasonably priced. I don't have one of hers, but I do have one from her father. If she's as good as he was, it would be workth the money.



Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
Those that like pipes of non-traditional design are the ones that buy these pipes. I like some of them and despise some others, but I can appreciate the craftsmanship required to make most of them. Manfred Hortig, for example, almost always impresses me with his creativity and use of negative space in his designs. Now, if he could just pay as much attention to the stem as he does the stummel...



Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2014
I like a lot of the olivewood pipes. But $350 is my cut-off point for pipe buying, plus i prefer estates already broke in.



Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
I can appreciate the work that goes into producing an artisan pipe even if the shape doesn't grab me. I own pipes to use not display (not saying anything about those that do in any way), and some of those look a little cumbersome to enjoy.



Nov 27, 2016
I have purchased a Benjamin Westerheide pipe--quite small, a scoop style, with one of the finest bits/lip I've ever encountered: sublime work.
There's a distinction to be made between pipe smokers & pipe collectors. I can see many of the pipes in the above link being purchased not to smoke, but rather as a small sculptural object, something to be held, turned over and admired from many angles. Many of those pipes display remarkable wood and unusual material and/or shape combinations.
Personally, I like my pipes a bit more traditional, but I'm grateful for artisans out there exploring grain, innovative materials and freehand styles, pretty amazing work.



Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2016
I prefer classical shapes, but if a pipe artfully deviates from those norms, I can also like these pipes.
But notice that the name of site signals its intention, to sell pipe art; many of the pipes are shaped not according to classical standards but instead to a widely deviating albeit artful display of imagination, wherein the chamber and burning tobacco are often secondary to an extra artistic freedom quite beyond a so-called normal freehand.
But this site has been around for awhile and is obviously accepts free freehands. I'm sure carvers that like to make such pipes know that the site is fine with such work and that they are free to carve with imagination.



Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
I'm a fan of many of the artisans listed on that site, although most of those pipes are beyond what I'm able to spend on a pipe. Regardless, if I were able to spend that much on a pipe, I'd treat it the same as I would any pipe... if it has two holes in it, it's meant to be smoked.



Sep 15, 2017
Got friends buying these for collector's purpose or as piece of art for decoration :)

I turn to own also few pieces that I would never fire up. Just too beautiful, and given the fact one such piece can take months of manual carving ...



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
Among them are traditional shapes nicely executed, so let's cross them off in this discussion. The others are pipes done as sculpture. For the purpose of discussion, I'll assume that they are also well drilled and smoke at least well, and maybe some smoke outstandingly well. I like their creativity, level of difficulty to carve/craft/finish, especially their originality. I think it misses the point to smoke these alone. They are dramatic, downright theatrical. Some likely have heft and imbalance that make them strictly pipes to hold in hand. I wouldn't try to characterize folks who buy or smoke these, no stereotypes. With apologies, I dismiss the term hipster which just means anyone young and "dressed up" in some way who I don't identify with. These pipes do require some discretionary spending money, that's for sure. That's not how I spend mine, but several I wouldn't mind owning. So they don't disgust or alienate me, but I'm not longing for one either. Sorry to be longwinded, just sorting it out here.



Preferred Member
Oct 21, 2014
The site gave me some pleasant information overload with the display of some fancy craftsmanship.
Once making calabash pipes from gourds was considered avant garde, and corn cob was a new thing.

Cigrmaster's question is more of a question about fashion statement. One doesn't need to think of high fashion, it is all about street fashion and fashion of the decade / generation.
I would buy a design pipe like those if I really like it, given that almost nobody sees me smoke a pipe - and it is pretty much unrelated to my fashion statement. So I would treat such a piece as a piece of painting or sculpture at home. In rarer occasion of I smoke outside, I probably won't choose to smoke a Wallenstein (those 3 "Raoul Wallenstein" are perhaps yet another pseudonym like "Roger Wallenstein" for this retired lawyer) or a Bo Nordh snail (I wish I have one..!). But if I am going to meet a few wood carving artists, then I may bring a special one indeed. It's similar to, will people normally sticker bomb their own street car? Probably not. But rally drivers would love to cover their race car with cool stickers.
With the Danish, pipe designs deviate from the simple formula "form follows function".

I can imagine if I put this on my desk, but not next to my other pipes.

If I just pull out this "lamp" and start to fill in tobacco and smoke in front of some unassuming guests, it will not be just a special scene, but also a hilarious one.



Sep 9, 2017
Oregon, USA
Maybe I am being simplistic in my view, but the name of the site kind of explains it to me: pipesart.com
It's functional art - so I assume the folks buying them are also those who appreciate fine sculpture, or any other type of art. The fact that they can be smoked seems like a bonus, considering the skill required to shape and finish such complex pieces.

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