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One of Your Favorite Artisan Carvers

(48 posts)
  1. mso489

    mso489

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    There are a world of pipe carvers out there, in different nations, that do a vast variety of pipes. Choose one artisan carver whose pipe or pipes you own, and explain why their work appeals to you. I'll chime in further on down the post. I think many members have heard my pitch before. Please keep it to one, so maybe more carvers will get mentioned by more members.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. yaddy306

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    Todd Bannard

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. sablebrush52

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    I like carvers who have developed a personal esthetic, one that appeals to me, and one that is instantly recognizable as that carver's work. While I like the looks of Danish pipes , I'm unwilling to pay the high prices and I'm not interested in warmed over Danish, so that leave out a lot of American carvers. I collect Lee Von Erck, Paul Tatum, Trever Talbert, Walt Cannoy, and Tony Fillenwarth for this reason, and because their pipes smoke extremely well.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. mothernaturewilleatusallforbreakfast

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    Michael Parks because his work checks all the boxes for me; classic stylized shaping, super high level of craftsmanship and engineering, and superb smoking characteristics.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. tschiraldi

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    As most of you already know (and are probably tired of me saying!), I LOVE Jesse Jones pipes! Classic shapes, great briar, spot on engineering and craftsmanship, comfortable bits, and they always smoke better than any other pipe I've owned! He is meticulous with his drilling and he offers cleaning/refurbishing for life on his pipes. Price also factors in. He has been asked why he doesn't double the price of his pipes. His reason? He doesn't want to put them out of range of the average buyer... like me. I'll never be able to afford a J. Allen or a Bang, but as long as Jesse's making pipes, I wouldn't want one anyway.

    Tim

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. ashdigger

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    Ryan Alden!! His shaping, his sandblasting, his stem work as well as his fit and finish really flip all of my switches. When my seven day matched set arrives it will give me 15 of his glorious pipes.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. dochudson

    dochudson

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    I'll take another Tinsky anytime.. You can get what you want how you want it... Perfectly engineered without waiting forever or taking out a second mortgage.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. tbradsim1

    tbradsim1

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    Ryan Alden, The Best of Humankind rolled into a Terriffic pipe maker.

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. sasquatch

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    Well, I mean, Ryan's not a bad dude, but "the best of humankind"? I can't grant him that. He snores!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. tbradsim1

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    I would never admit that I knew that.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. jpmcwjr

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    Dare I ask: How do you know that!

    I put an oar in also for Ryan, and Scottie Pierson.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. winton

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    I now own four Sebastian Beo pipes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. chasingembers

    chasingembers

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    Bruce Weaver

    He's a really great guy to talk pipes and tobacco with, has a hell of a sense of humor, I love his shaping and blasts, and his pipes are great smokers.

    I like coffee exceedingly.
    - H. P. Lovecraft
    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. sasquatch

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    Ryan and I roomed together in Chicago a couple years back. No one else wants to be near us: too big, too drunk, too dumb, too loud. You get the picture?

    The truth is, I have excellent relationships with a pile of carvers, and for the most part it's very easy to be friends with these people because they share a common goal - we all want to make pipes that make our customers happy, and we've all worked hard to manage this. There's a basic shared-value equation here that makes for fast friends. I can't really think of any carvers that I think poorly of, or that I'd say were bad people. There's a few with .... different business models than I have, and that's fine. But basically we are all playing the same very competitive game and it's all fun.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. tbradsim1

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    I was just funning.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. jefff

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    I have one of Todds and two of Ryans and you can't go wrong with either.

    It seems to me that none of the Artisan carvers have piles of unsold pipes....good for them.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. sasquatch

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    yeah no worries tbrad.

    Jefff, two of Ryan's and only one of mine? WTF?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. jefff

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    He's American.

    Also, Grandma carves faster then you do. But her pipes suck!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. raevans

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    Mark Tinsky. Does great work, can make pretty much any shape, reasonable price and a heck of a nice guy.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. jefff

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    I have a Tinsky, it's a great pipe. I asked for a vulcanite stem and he made a fine one.

    I also have a Scottie Piesel that I picked up late week at the Chicago show.

    I am quite enamored with it.

    I am sure there are some....unpleasant pipe carvers out there, I just haven't met one yet. Carving seems to attract good people.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. delkhouri

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    I have pipes by Ryan Alden, Scott Thile, Rad Davis, Perry White, Larrysson and a handful of others. They all smoke great or I wouldn't keep them.

    But one of my favorite pipe makers is Thomas James... I have two and I have no idea why his pipes aren't more popular.

    "I believe that many who find that 'nothing happens' when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand"
    ~ C.S. Lewis
    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. samcoffeeman

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    My favorite artisan pipe is a Nate King, the stem is perfect, great draw, easiest clench, smokes great every time.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. jefff

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    It's really hard to buy a bad handmade pipe today. People are more knowledgeable and the market is so competitive. I stopped by our own Klicklcks table at the Chicago show.

    His pipes looked awfully damn nice....if awfully damn big..:)

    Name a name and you will find a fine pipe. Often for less than half the price of a new Dunhill and a couple of hundred less than a new Castello.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. mawnansmiff

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    I often wonder if anyone ever lashed out big money for a high end hand crafted pipe made by a renowned carver only to find it smoked like a dog.

    Would anyone ever admit to such I wonder

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. bluegrassbrian

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    Konstantinos Anastasopoulos.
    His eye for detail appeals to me. Probably my favorite stem/bit that I've personally used. He makes many pipes in my size and dimension preference. His use of color is bold but often understated and never flashy.
    Finally he is personable and approachable...and he stands behind his work.

    Tobacco's a help because it clears the mind
    But like all your friends it is vilified
    They always say, the right amount's fine
    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. ashdigger

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    Jay, I'm not sure what "big money" is, but the most I've ever spent on an artisan pipe is $350. The vast majority of my artisans were at $300 or below, but I did have one pipe I purchased from an artisan that I struggled with for about ten bowls before I called him up and voiced my concerns. He had me ship him the pipe so he could make the stem adjustments and Shazam!! Comfortable and a pleasure to smoke. If you buy an artisan pipe you enter into a relationship, not just a business deal.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. tbradsim1

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    I bought a very high end pipe and it smoked terrible, that being said it was my fault for not contacting the maker and informing him. I always suspected it was the Briar and not the Pipe maker, so Shame on me.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. mothernaturewilleatusallforbreakfast

    mothernature

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    I hope you're alright down there Old Cajun. I saw there's some tornadoes in Louisiana today.

    I often wonder if anyone ever lashed out big money for a high end hand crafted pipe made by a renowned carver only to find it smoked like a dog.

    I doubt all those estate pipes out there are good smokers?

    If you buy an artisan pipe you enter into a relationship, not just a business deal.

    This is true if you are commissioning a pipe or buying direct from the carver, which is the way to go because you get to build a relationship. That relationship allows for both parties to be honest with each other and essentially guarantees that the buyer is happy with the quality of the pipe.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. ashdigger

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    Mother, pipes are funny tools. I've have pipes that I thought were dogs and I'll trade or sell them and the new owner thinks they're the best smoking pipes ever. Crazy.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. agnosticpipe

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    I'm going to have to put in a good word for Craig Cooper here. I am lucky enough to have two of his pipes, and I love them both. He leans toward the classic shapes which I like. Sadly, from what I understand, he's not making pipes anymore.

    The pipe smoker formerly know as agnostic pipe
    "Fried food, hard liquor, and tobacco, that's the holy trinity!"- Stacy Keach
    Posted 2 years ago #
  31. mothernaturewilleatusallforbreakfast

    mothernature

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    Mother, pipes are funny tools. I've have pipes that I thought were dogs and I'll trade or sell them and the new owner thinks they're the best smoking pipes ever. Crazy.

    Ash, this is so true. It's definitely an 'each his own' kind of world.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  32. mso489

    mso489

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    A special salute to the late Bob Hayes who graced North Carolina with his superb pipes and was best carver awardee at the TAPS pipe show more than once. I wish I had know of him, and gotten to know him over a longer time.

    My go-to pipe carver since 2002 has been Jerry Perry of Colfax, N.C. in the foothills west of Greensboro, site of the Persimmon Festival every year. I am devoted to Jerry's pipes and an admirer of his independent and creative spirit. He doesn't sell online: "If I sold online, I'd spend all my time taking pictures instead of making pipes." His work is, in part, understated, traditional, regional, and very distinct to its creator. I'm not sure if the influence is direct or not, but there is an undercurrent of Japanese artistry in his use of asymmetry and subtle irregularity, though at the same time adhering to a kind of high-country plainness and directness. As near as I can tell, he is not emulating the mainstream of carvers, but goes his own way with a steady confidence and creativity. He can use stripes of color and little line etchings on his pipes, but they still adhere to a easeful simplicity. There is a brilliance to them that reminds me of Shaker furniture and Amish crafts. When he gets set up at his booth at the N.C. State Fair, with the high intensity lamps bringing up the grain, multi-colored woods, and shapes of his work, it is pipe craftsmanship as fireworks. He sells his pipes at the N.C. State Fair Village of Yesteryear (where he has been mayor of the village) and at the TAPS pipe show at the State Fairgrounds in April. He works in briar, Mountain Laurel, maple, Cocobolo and perhaps other woods. His work is precisely to my taste.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  33. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    It is quite hard to narrow it down to one carver, as I am partial to so many, but one who I do not think gets enough praise is James Aydlott (Royal Oak Briars). I have two of his pipes and they are superb smokers and the fit and finish on them is excellent. He trained with Michael Lindner and you can definitely see the influence that Lindner has had on James, but James added his own spin on the pipes and they definitely have a flavor all his own. I would suggest that anyone here who was looking for another carver to try out, that they give Royal Oak briars a try.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  34. zerohunter

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    mso, do you have any pics of your Jerry Perry pipes?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  35. rigmedic1

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    My favorite pipe to smoke is a lumberman that I got from Basil Meadows, aka Reddog Pipes. I have two of his pipes, and the drilling is spot on and the briar is tasty. He recently received a bit of notice for his accurate rendions of the Bing Crosby and Merchant Service style pipes. I hope to get a few more of his pipes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  36. fishnbanjo

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    Trever Talbert, Jack Howell and Walt Cannoy.
    banjo

    Posted 2 years ago #
  37. mso489

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    zerohunter, despite lots of good instructions on posting photos, I'm not saavy, but I'd like to share a look at some of Jerry Perry's pipes, though not on this thread. I'll fiddle with it, perhaps pass them by email to someone who posts photos regularly. But I don't want folks waiting to see them while I meander. Also, if I spot any online (rare to see them) I'll pass along the link.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  38. lonestar

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    He snores !

    While this is true, I am nearly perfect in every other way.

    -Ryan Alden
    Posted 2 years ago #
  39. sasquatch

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    "Quick, we need someone to eat all these hamburgers and waffles and make some pipes... who should we call?"

    Posted 2 years ago #
  40. wyfbane

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    I hesitate because, while i have many artisan pipes, I have yet to actually commission one for myself (But I am talking to Zack).

    So I am therefore smoking someone else's vision, etc. If I had to pick one of the artisans whose pipe(s) I own, though, I think the nod goes to Rad Davis. Fine looking pipes, and the damn things smoke so well. And I have an early one, too, before he had perfected his aesthetic: still a flawless smoker.

    Doing this on my study break, and I have an essay due in less than 90 minutes or I would dig out my Rads for a pic. sorry. Maybe later.

    If you said, 'NO mike! it has to be a guy making pipes now!' I would have to go with Lee von Erck. I am afraid to smoke mine sometimes for fear I will get nic poisoning from the cavernous bowl full of what I am smoking, drop it, and damage it. It is truly a piece of art. Staggeringly beautiful pipe. And huge!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  41. ssjones

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    I've had a hard time focusing on a singular artisan, there are too many choices! But, I have two Jack Howells, so that says something. I'm not sure he's still making pipes?

    Al

    Posted 2 years ago #
  42. fishnbanjo

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    Al,
    Jack is busy with his music, makes approximately 40,000 bamboo reeds annually and when he has time he still makes pipes he had a couple on his website recently for sale, my wish is that someday I will find one of the few bamboo fly rods Jack made, regards
    banjo

    Posted 2 years ago #
  43. jefff

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    THAT Howells also makes pipes? That's awesome.

    I would like one of each. A rod and a pipe.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  44. fordm60

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    I really enjoy and love my Clark Layton pipes.He has made me 4 pipes, they smoke like a dream. I love the standing Cavalier that still stands with the Churchwarden stem!! He makes magnum bowls and regular sized ones. I do not like all he makes but I love what he makes for me!!
    Layton Pipes Website.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    elpfeife

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    Of my four favorite pipes two are by Scott Thile, so I'll go with him. The stems suit me to a tee.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  46. ssjones

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    I knew Jack Howell was a professional musician (I believe he plays for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?) but I didn't know he also build fly rods. He has also penned a book on building bamboo fly rods:
    https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/title/lovely-reed/author/jack-howell/

    Posted 2 years ago #
  47. lasttango

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    I really like Tom Eltang's rusticated bowls. LOOK: https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/eltang/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=223360

    I love the way Walt Connoy makes the flame grain pop! (You have to behold it in person).

    Bill Shalosky uses great materials like Fordite... Love his pipes. Sold, but so cool. I almost sold the farm to get this one at $500, but some lucky dude got there first: https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/Bill-Shalosky/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=229498

    If I could afford one, I'd have to have one of Manduela Riger-Kusk's pipes. She makes stunning pipes. (I couldn't pick just one... see the sold ones). https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/manduela/

    Lastly... we have some talented artisans on this site. Forget his name... he's from fla... he makes stunning pipes... a bit too expensive for me to buy... but awesome work... Someday, I'll own one...

    I got an RX2MAN black bamboo with flying saucer... smoked it just this morning and holding it in the sun, I loved the way the grain popped. For a mere $145 it was a stellar deal.

    A man that hoards up riches and enjoys them not, is like an ass that carries gold and eats thistles.
    -Richard Burton
    Posted 2 years ago #
  48. pappymac

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    I have one of Zac's. I'll either buy another one of his or a Tinsky.

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 2 years ago #

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