Chicago Show “Hands On” Pipe Making Seminar

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How would you like to make your own briar pipe?
Well that’s exactly what participants in the “Hands On” Pipe Making Seminar got to do at the Chicago Pipe Show at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles IL. It seems like it would be a lot of hard work, and it is, but with the guidance of expert pipe makers, the participants turned out some impressive results.
Every year at the Chicago Pipe Show, during the early pre-show days on Wednesday & Thursday, there is a two-day seminar where registrants get to make their own pipes. The class is two full days from 9 – 5 and has a nominal registration fee of $75. Each participant is given a cut briar block ready for carving along with a stem.

The schedule was as follows (from the CPCC Website):
9AM TO 5PM DAILY Brian Ruthenberg/ “Hands On” Pipe Making Seminar
***Access only to pre-registered participants, Pipe Makers scheduled to participate in the seminar and the Show Staff. No others allowed in the area because of safety issues, security issues and because of disruption to class. There is a two-day agenda and it must be adhered to.
Information on the seminar:
Show Officer in charge is Rex Poggenpohl and the Instructors for the seminar are as follows: Brian Ruthenberg (lead instructor), Jaden from Hew-Len pipes and Alex Florov. Jeff Gracik and Rad Davis will be assisting/ teaching on Thursday, possibly Wednesday if they arrive at the show early enough.
Coming in on Thursday for some additional help and critics are: Tom Eltang, Peter Heeschen, Teddy Knudsen, Poul Ilsted, Manuela Riger-Krusk, Ed Jurkiewicz and possibly Michael Butera.

The Participants in the Pipe Making Workshop
Aaron Harris from Hartselle Alabama

The Participants in the Pipe Making Workshop
Carlos from Chestnut, IL (on the right showing his name tag)

Pipe Making Workshop Pipe
Pipe Making Workshop Pipe

I Wonder What This One Will Look Like When it is Done?
I Wonder What This One Will Look Like When it is Done?

Sand Blast Machine
Sand Blast Machine

Alex Florov, Brian Ruthenberg, Rex Poggenpohl, Jeff Gracik
Alex Florov, Brian Ruthenberg, Rex Poggenpohl, Jeff Gracik

Before & After Shots of Pipes
Before & After Shots of Pipes

IMPORTANT NOTE: The 2011 Chicago Pipe Show will be two weeks later than usual because of the late Easter Holiday.
New Dates: Chicago Pipe Show May 14 & 15, 2011
For more of our coverage of the 2010 Chicago Pipe Show, Click on the following links:

Chicago Pipe Show 2010 Pre-Show

2010 Chicago Pipe Show – Pre-Show Part 2

Chicago Pipe Show 2010 Day 1 Update

Artisan Pipe Maker Bob Gilbert Interview

Report on the Chicago Pipe Show

2010 Doctor of Pipes Award Dinner

9 Responses

  • Those pipes came out looking great for their first time!
    I would love to try making one, but I don’t know if I would have the patience to make a pipe.
    I hope those guys come here and post how they smoke.

  • Hi everyone, I’m really happy with how my pipe turned out. I kinda surprised myself, I was thinking that it was gonna come out looking like a Mr. Potato Head pipe, but it turned out great!I have smoked it a couple of times now and it smokes great. Nice dry, cool, smoke. I would highly recommend the class to anyone. The pipe makers were very helpfull and were a wealth of information. Sign up early though cause the class is small and filled up really quick.

  • Welcome Aaron!
    Glad to see that you joined and I’m also glad to hear that your pipe smokes great!

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