Pipe making is both a craft and an art. The truly great pipe maker has perfected the craft, and is then freed to artistically go as far as possible, maybe even further than thought possible, while still maintaining the functionality of the pipe. In the end a pipe must smoke well. This is about engineering, making sure holes are the right size, holes line up correctly and walls are the right thickness.
There is much to be said about that, but for me, the driving force is the artistic nature of what can be done. Particularly with pipes, you have that exciting element of working with an organic substance, that necessitates adjusting to the material. In other words, if you are going to be effective you must allow the piece to follow the natural path that the grains and imperfections of the wood lead you.
This is also what I do in my sculpture and my paintings. I do not want to tell my work what it must be, but I allow the materials to make me adjust, and from the uniqueness of the material, I draw out beauty. My desire is to be a pipe maker that accomplishes this, and to continue to do so with my painting and sculpture.