Recently, to celebrate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 73rd birthday, Max Bogdan carved a pipe of his face. Not just Arnold’s face mind you. It’s Arnold as Cyberdyne systems model 101 (or the T-800) from the Terminator series of movies we all know and love.
Then he posted it on Reddit.
The internet went crazy. Arnold is a Redditor and said,” I’ll buy it, ” but Max wanted to give it to him, so they worked it out and Arnold took a picture of himself smoking the pipe and signed it and sent it back to him.
But it didn’t stop there because people called Max out saying it was photoshopped, to which Arnold replied to the naysayers to set the record straight that yes, he did sign it and it was him smoking that pipe. Not only that he clarified to people who love jumping in and trolling on the internet calling things fake:
I sat down with Max to chat a bit about his recent pipe carver celebrity status, the now-famous pipe, and how he works as a carver in general. *Author’s note: English is not Max’s native tongue so some editing has been done.
Why did you decide to carve a pipe of Arnold Schwarzenegger / Terminator’s face?
Arnold is a legend for me, this is a whole era. I grew up watching his films, and his hard road to the top is inspiring. But to be honest, I also did not want my gift to gather dust on the shelf and I knew that Arnold smokes cigars and pipes. Therefore, it convinced me even more to take this step. I can touch this legend and I have the opportunity to please this person, I think this is real magic 🙂
Were you surprised that Arnold is a Redditor?
This is actually an interesting story. Half a year ago, I started thinking about the terminator pipe, I was confident that this is Arnold’s favorite image. At the same time, one guy wrote to me who had already ordered a pipe from me and asked if I could make a terminator pipe for him. I was very surprised because I had already started making a gift pipe. When I told him about this, he said that his wife is talking to someone from Arnold’s team and he will help me pass the pipe to Arnold, I agreed. But then the coronavirus epidemic began and this guy disappeared somewhere. I was very upset, I tried to contact someone from Arnold’s team myself, but I failed. And having lost all hope, I waited for his birthday and made a post on Reddit.
I wrote that I wanted to present this pipe to Arnold, but could not contact him. And you know what? People began to help me, yes, they indicated his profile in the tags and said that he should see it. I didn’t know Arnold was on Reddit. My post didn’t get many likes and went downstairs right away. I went to bed and was in no hurry to go to Reddit again, at the end of the next day I went there again and was surprised, there was a bunch of letters in my mailbox. Everyone wrote to me that Arnold answered me and where did I go? This is how my story began. He wrote that he wanted to buy this pipe, and I replied that I wanted to give it to him 🙂 I still cannot believe that I succeeded.
How was Arnold to interact with outside of Reddit, shipping to him, follow up, etc?
I want to note that Arnie is a very cool man. He immediately answered me in a personal message and we agreed on a deal. And I also want to say that he is so cool that he has a separate building and employees who work with the mail that comes to him. It’s incredible! Overall, I was very lucky.
What’s your favorite movie of his?
For a favorite movie, it’s hard to say. He has many different characters. Of course, Terminator is probably one of the most epic characters ever. But I love all his films 🙂
How have things changed for you since all this happened in the last couple of weeks?
I am still the same guy, I don’t have hundreds of orders or millions in my account. I’m just a little tired, after the news about the Terminator, a lot of people write to me, and in order not to offend anyone I have to answer everyone. But I’ll say it again, it didn’t change me much, just many people think that I have now become Arnold’s best friend and we constantly communicate and that I have many orders and I have become a millionaire. Not so. But one can dream.
Ok, let’s switch gears and talk more about you. How long have you been a pipe carver?
What did you carve before carving pipes? Or have you always just carved Pipes?
I worked at various jobs, I was a car airbrusher, and on walls, I also worked at a newspaper. But I was always haunted by the feeling that this was not my calling. A couple of years ago I was let go from two jobs and I fell into a deep depression. But one day I accidentally took a Dremel from a friend and decided to try it. The first day I made a small engraving. I did not have the necessary tools and equipment, but the result surprised me as if I had already been involved in this business and I know how to do it. Then I took a couple of small wooden boxes and made a skull out of them. Next, I started carving chests and boxes and I sold my first carved box on Etsy for $ 10 and was very happy. To me, what is happening in our lives is not just randomness or coincidence. I believe that God helped me and put me on this path to have this opportunity or chance to do what I feel most passionate about.
Are all your pipes made out of briar?
Yes, I only work with briar. Briar amazingly makes it possible to make such small and complex details.
What do you do when you’ve spent hours carving something and discover a pit or issue with the briar?
The most critical thing is when I make a pipe from a giant piece of briar and when drilling a tobacco chamber, a defect is found inside or when I make faces pipe, it’s not very beautiful when there is a black dot on the face, it’s good that I don’t make perfectly smooth pipes, my pipes have many details and the small defect will not be noticeable. Fortunately, this rarely happens, because I buy briar from Romeo Domenico, Mimmo. I think he is the best!
What led you to become a pipe carver?
I was looking for where to use the carving of the heads of different characters and monsters. At first, I made boxes in the form of heads, but then I saw the work of a gentleman that carved pipes. And I thought, “Wow this is much cooler than what I’m doing, I want to do the same.”
Besides, there is a composition there, I can make a small character on a tamper and connect it to the main pipe. “That’s cool.”
When I bought the first piece of briar and tried to make carvings, I was really happy. Briarwood is better than what I had been using because it does not have coarse fibers and I can make many fine details. Additionally, what I like about carving pipes is that it’s a functional thing, it doesn’t have to collect dust, someone can smoke it.
I spent time watching videos of other pipe carvers and masters and tried to figure out what works best for me to fit into my carving style on a briar pipe to hone my skill.
Do you have a favorite pipe that you smoke out of?
Probably the first pipes that I made, they are my favorite ones, because a lot of time has passed and they go into the depths of my memories. But Terminator pipe will be remembered more than anyone else, that’s for sure 🙂
Where are you based out of? Ukraine?
I am from a small town on the shores of the Sea of Azov. I live in Ukraine, Berdyasnk city.
Is this your full-time job or do you carve pipes on the side?
Each pipe requires about a month of work and a lot of attention. Now I devote all my time to this. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I have to support social networks, communicate with people, make sketches, and I also make pipe tampers. But I shouldn’t be lazy, that’s why I said that people like Arnold inspire me.
How many other carvers do you work with at Craftsman Pipes?
A couple of my friends are helping me in preparing the pipe for threading. It is also possible one day, I will pass on my knowledge to my child, I like the idea of a family business, but it’s too early to talk about it 🙂
Where does your inspiration come from?
Inspiration gives me my job and the opportunity to do what I love, I’m glad that everyone has their favorite characters and every time I have to make a new pipe. But besides orders, I am inspired by the opportunity to please people, I make their dream come true. And when I started making Arnold’s pipe, I dreamed that he would smoke it and become a little happier, this is real magic 🙂
If someone wants to commission you to carve a pipe what’s the best way to get a hold of you?
I hope to make my own site soon, but for now, these are social networks. Facebook and Instagram.
People usually write to me, find out the price, and if they are satisfied we discuss the project. I keep asking, for example, do you really want this dragon or character? Because for me it is important that the person is satisfied and gets what he wants.
What’s next for you, full time?
I think yes, I want pipes to take all my time and I can have a good stable income. And in dreams, I want to continue delight celebrities 🙂
|James Foster goes by the online handle of Pylorns in the forums, and he is the creator of an app for keeping track of your tobacco cellar inventory called The Pipe Tool, serves as the President of the Austin Pipe Club and is a Certified Tobacconist.|
Terminator Pipe blows up the internet
Congrats Max! So glad you got it into Arnold’s hands! I’m a big fan of your work. Cheers to your amazing talent!
Great article and Max does some great carving! What a great story!
Wow what a great and inspiring interview! Thanks for sharing!
Great story, awesome pipes! I really admire Max’s carving skill.
wondering what blend was in there