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What Do You Consider An "Artisan Pipe Carver" To Be?

(11 posts)
  • Started 5 months ago by carolinachurchwarden
  • Latest reply from Hap
  1. carolinachurchwarden

    carolinachurchwarden

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    I am curious. I see the term "Artisan Pipe Carver" thrown around a lot when describing a carver. What constitutes being one? Is it how much their pipes cost? Is it the method in which they're carved?

    I'm asking after watching a fella unbox an Ardor in a video and saw one of the comments say that they would love to own an Ardor someday, but they're out of his price range for something other than an "artisans pipe".

    This made me think about it. Of all the research I've done on Ardor, they don't seem to make what we know to be "factory pipes", from what I've read. They seem to make most, if not all, of their pipes by hand, although I'm sure machinery is involved. What I've read seems to suggest that Damiano himself sits down with each piece of briar and reads it and finds the best design for each pipe. This sounds no different than what some of the other "artisan carvers" we know do with their briar. So just what is it that would make a guy down the street that makes pipes out of his basement or garage an "artisan pipe carver" but not Damiano Rovera?

    How many other companies out there do this by hand but are not deemed "artisans"? How many are overlooked because they're not what a lot of guys think of when they think "artisan pipe"?

    "If you can't send money, send tobacco." - George Washington

    Posted 5 months ago #
  2. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    ar·ti·sanDictionary result for artisan
    /ˈärdəzən/Submit
    noun
    a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.
    synonyms: craftsman, craftswoman, craftsperson, skilled worker, mechanic, technician, operative, maker, smith, wright, journeyman; More

    Michael
    Posted 5 months ago #
  3. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    Anyone.....ANYONE....can call themself an Artisan. Whether they are or not is where the rubber hits the road.

    A few years ago the "large poker" shaped pipe was all the rage. Anyone with wood and acrylic was kicking out clunky pipes.

    They were not artisans....they were carnival barkers covered in sawdust...nothing more.

    Cosmic is spot on.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 5 months ago #
  4. mso489

    mso489

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    From a consumer's point of view, I suppose an artisan pipe carver is one who works principally alone and makes the whole pipe from materials from scratch. I do think it's true that some of the factory line people have attained high level skills and could make fine pipes on their own but prefer a more structured job. Some artisans begin on factory lines. Some artisan carvers will sometimes use preformed stems or roughed out stummels. I wouldn't get too picky, if the end-product is good. I think the Dr. Grabow factory craftspeople do beautiful work, in many cases, and obviously love the product. The shaping of the Royalton bulldog is notable. But no one would call Dr. Grabows artisan pipes.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  5. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Ahh, the occasional dangers of watching videos...

    Applying Cosmic's dictionary definition to pipes requires that you consider the manner in which the pipe is made. Some factories, like Grabow, are primarily machine pipelines using fraising, with a minimum of hand work. Others, like Castello, Ardor, Brebbia, etc are factories employing artisan pipe makers who perform a lot of hand shaping whether completely by hand, using hand tools, or assisted with lathes, saws, or grinders and are producing primarily hand worked pipes to specific company designs. And then there are individual artisans, like von Erck, Cook, Piersel, Sasquatch, etc who run one person shops and who create unique and individual pipes reflective of their personal styles.

    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 5 months ago #
  6. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    The problem is giving the word some sort of significance more than just something that is "made." It really doesn't have any context, other than the slight French accent an actor gives to the word in a commercial directed by someone in marketing.
    It's really no big deal. My car is artisan made,.. except without the slight French accent.

    Posted 5 months ago #
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    bent1

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    Artisan to me is a person free to choose what they want to create.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  8. carolinachurchwarden

    carolinachurchwarden

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    Well, I'm with you fellas, and the video was only of watching a guys joy at unboxing a new Ardor pipe, which he was very happy to have. He wasn't mentioning anything about artisans in general, I was merely curious about some guys reaction to the video and how he perceived paying roughly $400 for an Ardor being more than he would want to spend since it wasn't an "artisan" pipe.

    I totally understand that a sole person in their garage making anything can be an artisan, but when you hear or see some people talk about it, it's like there are some people that just aren't and some people that are, and it's at the sole discretion of that person as to who is or isn't.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  9. bassbug

    bassbug

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    Pay a visit to your local grocery store. I suspect you will find artisan bread, artisan cheese, artisan pastry and probably artisan prepared foods.

    Mother of God, how I hate marketing labels.

    I don't care who you are, you're not walking on the water while I'm fishing
    Posted 5 months ago #
  10. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    In the context of pipe carving, I believe an Artisan Pipe is one carved by that individual Artisan. Yes, technically, Castello, Radice and many other similar shops have pipes carved by Artisans. However, you as the buyer have no idea whether the pipe you purchased came from the Artisan who started last week or the one who is their "Master Artisan".

    This shouldn't imply that an Artisan pipe is superior to the other. Obviously, Castello, Radice and other shops make very, very high quality pipes. It also shouldn't imply that an Artisan pipe automatically guarantees it will be a pipe of very high quality.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  11. haparnold

    Hap

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    The difference is thus: a Castello or Ardor is Artisan when I'm selling it, and it's a factory pipe when I'm buying it.

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 5 months ago #

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