The 2011 North American Pipe Carvers Competition

By Kevin Godbee, Photos by Jon Rinaldi

During the annual Greater Kansas City Pipe & Tobacco Show there are several events within the event and a couple of competitions. One of the competitions is the obligatory slow smoking contest, and the other one is something that was started by the Greater Kansas City Pipe Club two years ago called the North American Pipe Carvers Competition.

Most pipe shows have raffles for 7-day pipe sets, but the Kansa City club wanted to do something a little different. For years, many of us in the pipe community have heard so many people rave about the unique, stylish, creative, high-quality pipes being made by the Danish artists. However, several collectors feel that the same type of quality and unique styles are also available from North American makers. Hence, the North American Pipe Carvers Competition.

This was the second year for the contest. A specific shape is chosen and the pipe makers are free to provide their own interpretations as long as they fulfill the basic requirements. This year’s shape was a panel pipe, defined as any pipe with two or more panels that could be convex, concave, flat, or fluted. It is defined in this manner to allow as much creativity as possible to the pipe makers.

Forty-two pipes were entered and then the judges chose the seven best pipes to be auctioned off. Pipe maker and wood craftsman, Anthony Harris of Acme Woodturning designed the extremely creative and attractive display case shown above. Pipe maker Jon Rinaldi painstakingly photographed all 42 pipes, which you can see below.

Judges Bill Schaffart, Tad Gage, and George Dibos chose the seven best pipes to make up a 7-day set.

Tickets were sold at $25 each with the proceeds going to the pipe makers that were included in the set. The Pipe Carvers in the seven day set were: Quinton Wells, Adam Davidson, Rad Davis, Jack Howell, Michael Parks, Joe Skoda, and Lee Von Erck. The winner of the 7-day set was Bobby Owens from Georgia.

Here are all 42 pipes in alphabetical order by maker. (Click on the pipes for a larger view.)

Adam Davidson Al Perkowski Andrew Marks
Andrew Peterson Anthony Harris Bob Davison
Bob Gilbert Bob Hayes Bob Swanson
Bruce Weaver Clyde McIntyre Colin Rigsby
David Neeb Donald Kesling Dru Melpoder
Eric Heberling Horace DeJarnett Jack Howell
Joe Nelson Joe Skoda Jon Rinaldi
Julius Vesz Kevin Arthur Lee Von Erck
Lyn Beyer Mark Tinsky Martin Hansen
Marty Sim Michael Parks Pete Prevost
Pipe Display Case By Anthony Harris Acme Woodturning
Premal Chheda Quinton Wells Rad Davis
Russ Cook Scott Holtman Scott Klein
Scott Thile Steve Morrisette Thomas James
Tim George Tonni Nielsen Will Purdy


Here is our full coverage of the 2011 Greater Kansas City Pipe & Tobacco Show.

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8 Responses

  • Last year’s entries were so awesome I was sure it would be impossible to equal them. Turns out I was wrong.

  • The Horns are beautiful.
    I love Tim George’s Paneled Poker.
    And, I have a Mark Tinskey that same shape… “American Calabash”
    Mine is smooth and the grain is awesome.
    They are all absolutely beautiful!
    I will volunteer to break them in. 😀

  • Great pipes and wonderfu craftsmanship.Hard to say which one I like best.
    Photos Hobie lol

  • I am really looking forward to next year’s contest when the style will be “bulldog family”. They haven’t finished writing the rules yet so I can’t give you the details on that, but you know they won’t be lengthy.