Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Why I love pipes

Unlike many people I didn't have a kind uncle, or grandparent that smoked a pipe.  In fact the only pipe smoker I remember was a mean Catholic priest named fr. Leo, who cussed and yelled at everyone.  I have to admit though when the shit hit the fan he was there for people.  A curmudgeon with a conscience. 

I do however love the smell of pipes.  I also love the slow, relaxing way of the pipe.  You cannot rush when smoking a pipe, it some how makes things calmer.  There is a ritual to pipe smoking as well, you don't just light up, puff and puff and then throw out whats left.  You pick the pipe, you pick the tobacco, you set it out to dry, pack it carefully, light it a number of times, (especially if you still haven't learned the magic of slow smoking like I haven't)  And then you sit, or walk, or in my case... make a pipe.  It is wonderful.  In a world of rapid fire it is a slow down and pay attention hobby.

But the reason I love pipes the most, is they are the in my mind the pinnacle of the combination of fashion, craft, art and practical engineering.  The way many people feel about cars... I feel about pipes.  And I can't make you a car, but I can make you a pipe.

So here are some of my favorite pipes from some of my favorite pipemakers.  I will post a few each day.

Today is the strange and wonderful world of Christian Wolfsteiner at Tarock Briar his website

Christian uses his unusual finishing textures and colors to create the most amazing organic pipes.  This one is called tortilla flats, and I desperately wanted to own it, but... I am buying pipe materials and tools rather than pipes right now

This pipe is perhaps my favorite of his.  With the treatment of the long shank, and a fairly traditional shape with a remarkable finish, I suspect this will smoke like a dream as well.

I hope you appreciate the artistry, craft and beauty of this unique master, working outside the box.


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