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Who's Making Classic Shapes?

(24 posts)
  1. haparnold

    Hap

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    I have pretty conservative tastes when it comes to pipes (probably the most 'exotic' shape in my collection is a Zulu). Never met a Danish freehand I'd give money for, but I love the old British classic shapes by outfits like Dunhill, Barling, Loewe, etc.

    It seems like most of the independent pipe makers I see these days are strongly influenced by the Danes. Sure, lots of guys will turn out a billiard here and there, but that's not the specialty in the pipe makers I've been looking at. Which (finally) brings me to my question: which pipe makers these days (individual artisans; not factories) specialize in/are particularly gifted with classic shapes? Who does the best Billiard/Lovat/Dublin out there?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 8 months ago #
  2. ashdigger

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    You should look into getting a Ryan Alden pipe via commission. His shaping is fantastic and they're great smokers.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 8 months ago #
  3. dmcmtk

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    You want to see a nice billiard...

    https://www.blueroombriars.com/collections/jesse-jones-pipes/products/jesse-jones-pipe-sandblast-billiard

    Dave
    Duke Street Irregular
    Posted 8 months ago #
  4. bassbug

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    Try here

    Michael Parks

    I don't care who you are, you're not walking on the water while I'm fishing
    Posted 8 months ago #
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    bigpond

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    Cue can or worms emoji.

    Asteriou is perhaps the top pipe maker when it comes to classic style billiards plenty of folks will argue the point in favor of Michael Parks, no doubt. Anastasopolous makes a mean bulldog and Gustavo Cunha (Martelo pipes) tweaks the billiard slightly but should be on anyone’s list. My favorite billiard comes from Tao, it’s short and chunky yet refined the opposite of myself

    Posted 8 months ago #
  6. bassbug

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    No can of worms here.

    I love looking through these makers' galleries, but to be honest, I can't afford any of them

    BTW, coming up on Sep. 8 is the Toronto Pipe Club annual BBQ and once again, it is being graciously hosted by Michael Parks at his workshop. If anyone is near enough or planning to be in the Toronto area on that weekend, everyone is welcome and invited.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  7. mothernaturewilleatusallforbreakfast

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    Kyriazanos. Although, he's been producing a greater range of design more frequently the past few years, he is known for his ability to interpret and create great classically shaped pipes in the English style.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  8. jpmcwjr

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    You want to see a nice billiard...

    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 8 months ago #
  9. thesmokindragon

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    On machine made briar: Stanwell, Savinelli, Peterson, etc.

    On handmade briar: Radice, Castello, Ashton, etc.

    On Meer: IMP

    Posted 8 months ago #
  10. lordofthepiperings

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    Sam Adebayo is very talented at doing the old school English classics. I have a Lovat of his that's AMAZING. It does have a modern American twist on it though, cause it has a boxwood ring accent and it has a Bakelite uniquely colored stem. Bowl and shank though are very much Sam's take on a Dunhill Shell Briar.

    "The thinking man always smokes a Peterson." -Peterson of Dublin
    Posted 8 months ago #
  11. kcghost

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    There's a lot of them. Scottie Piersel, Andy Petersen, Jesse Jones, etc, just to name a few.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  12. mso489

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    Maybe this is an aside, but I noticed that most factory pipe manufacturers, Dunhill on down, that rely on volume sales, stick mostly to settled traditional shapes, readily identifiable and nameable. I like to also point out that thought we think of many of these as English, most originated with the French who also "discovered" briar as a primary pipe material. When you look at factory pipes at any price level you are probably seeing mostly classic traditional shapes.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  13. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I'll add another vote for Scottie Piersel. Her Scottie pipes follow in the classical English tradition and her pipes are great smokers. Also, her prices are affordable. I have six of them and all are a pleasure to smoke.

    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 8 months ago #
  14. sasquatch

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    Yes indeed, MSO, those shapes are french in origin, mostly, and divised to be made by the simple cutting/shaping heads in the factories, touched up by hand in the difficult spots. Pretty neat to see the old equipment in action, just how much of the shaping was automated.

    Doing these things utterly without template, ie making them "by hand"(though of course a lathe is still in play for some parts) is pretty challenging. It's easy to get these things "wrong" and of course you can see it when it happens, where with a more free-form sort of shape, a little more artistic license is usually granted.

    What's funny is, in a world of artsy pipes, and a world full of factory made factory shapes, those of us who do choose to make traditional pipes in more or less traditional finishes are kept busy doing so. Demand is high for "ordinary" pipes of good quality. Kyriazanos and Asteriou, and Parks too, are actually making pipes that are much nicer than any factory ever made - much tighter tolerances, better briar, better stem work, better shaping, everything. It's kind of ironic - the pipe posted above has a nicer blast and a nicer finish than anything out of any factory, ever, really. You could argue that the old Shell pipes have a deeper blast, but they are also a worse cut of briar almost always, the the shape of the pipe is almost always damaged by such blasting.

    Anyway it's fun stuff to play with. 99% of what I make is dead traditional stuff, and I never would have guessed when I started making pipes that I would have "ended up" there. But the appreciation for making this stuff correctly seeps in over time I guess.

    I just finished a copy of a GBD style pot. Boring stuff!

    Posted 8 months ago #
  15. haparnold

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    Thanks for the great responses, all! My wife is going to be sorely disappointed at all the pipes I've found to drool over...

    V/R,

    Hap

    Posted 8 months ago #
  16. jaytex969

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    I like boring stuff...

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 8 months ago #
  17. sasquatch

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    Jay, it turns out a lot of guys quietly do.

    George Dibos the pipe repair guru, a long while back, I mean, back when I had hair and he had teeth, like in the Mesozoic, told me that classic stuff done right always sold. And I sort of believed it, but only sort of - after all, there's all these ultra-high-grade wonder pipes you see out there, the ballerinas and blowfish, but how many guys buy and or smoke those? How many guys smoke (and prefer) straight billiards? Lots. So the customer base is large and steady. George was bang on. I made a Bing type pipe on commission recently, I started 3 pipes, picked the most likely candidate for the sandblast that was requested, and finished the other 2. One sold the day it was finished, the other sold long before it was finished. You cannot produce enough of these things as a pipe maker.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  18. chasingembers

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    And I sort of believed it, but only sort of - after all, there's all these ultra-high-grade wonder pipes you see out there, the ballerinas and blowfish, but how many guys buy and or smoke those?

    Well, I'm one. I have a couple of billiards but they are rarely used.

    But the appreciation for making this stuff correctly seeps in over time I guess.

    When I started carving, Bruce Weaver once told me that if you could master a straight billiard, you could make anything. A simple shape, but difficult to master.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 8 months ago #
  19. tschiraldi

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    Jesse jones (Blue Room Briars), Ashton, Northern Briars, and if you like colorful stems, Chris Askwith. Personally, I've adopted Jesse Jones as "My" pipe carver!

    Posted 8 months ago #
  20. tschiraldi

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    Like Biliards and Brandies? Jesse Jones!

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    paulfg

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    +1 for Michael Kyriazanos,his interpretation of classic shapes are great and excellent smokers

    Posted 8 months ago #
  22. ssjones

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    Michail Kyriazanos has been making some beautiful classic shapes, I follow him on Facebook.




    A recent favorite:

    And my lone Kyriazanos, an interpretation of a 1920's era Comoy's shape.

    This bulldog set is still available at Smoking Pipes

    Al

    Posted 8 months ago #
  23. lordofthepiperings

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    [/quote]I'll add another vote for Scottie Piersel. Her Scottie pipes follow in the classical English tradition and her pipes are great smokers. Also, her prices are affordable. I have six of them and all are a pleasure to smoke.[quote]

    I actually just bought my first Scottie Piersel. It’s a blasted medium brown stain straight Dublin with a plateau rim and a creamy white vulcanite stem in her “Driving Scottie Pipe” style (just over 4.5” bowl to stem) in her famous pencil shank style.. Very light, weighing in at just under 23 grams. Very excited to get it and have a break in bowl. I’ve been wanting a pencil shanked Scottie pipe for a few years now and since I’m collecting American carvers I feel a pencil shanked Scottie Piersel is a must.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  24. mso489

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    I guess it's a point of discussion, but it seems to me that Danish freehands have become a classic shape since they surfaced around the sixties. One of the reigning masters of these is Eric Nording, and he makes them all the way up and down the price spectrum from excellent factory pipes to artisan up-market pipes. So maybe the way to phrase it is traditional shapes pre-dating Danish freehands, or something like that. Believe me, I've seen a number of the depressing imitations of this style, but the good ones are ... good.

    Posted 8 months ago #

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