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 Question for collectors...or anybody else

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Bub

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Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:13 pm

Pipes have been divided by region where they were made. Perhaps we can recognize an English style, an Italian style, and even a Danish style. But where does that leave a North American style? Where does a pipe by Tonni Nielsen, who lives in Kentucky, or a Rolando Negoita, who lives in New York fit in? What exactly is a North American style pipe? Do Noth American carvers borrow from everyone else or do they have specific characteristics that make them unique? Are North American carvers doing things that no one else is?
Bub
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Bub

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PostSubject: Re: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Tue Dec 25, 2007 8:58 pm

I did not mean to leave anyone off my list but I forgot to mention Alex Florov at http://www.florovpipes.com/.
They are just three carvers that I am aware of.
I know that we all came from somewhere else and the USA is a melting pot...but what exactly is a North American pipe?
Bub
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jhuggett
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PostSubject: Re: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:10 pm

The only thing that comes to mind when I think North American pipes is deep, craggy sandblasts. Other than that I think the styles vary because of the melting pot aspect. There isn't that traditional influence but rather carvers feel free to make what inspires them. Of course I'm no expert on pipes, that's just what I've concluded from looking at the American carvers as I have.

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hazmat



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Location : Harrisburg, PA
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PostSubject: Re: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:20 pm

They mostly all speak English Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Wed Dec 26, 2007 7:33 pm

Jason is right, I think. Also, Americans seem to make a large variety of freehands.
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howellhandmade



Registration date : 2007-12-11

PostSubject: Re: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Wed Dec 26, 2007 7:47 pm

I don't believe there is such a thing as a unified North American style. It depends entirely on which carver (singular) you select. The influence could be Danish, Italian, English, or a complete homebrew. Because of our dispersal, North American carvers select their own influences, some traveling abroad to acquire them.
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ZuluCollector

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Registration date : 2007-12-12

PostSubject: Re: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:23 pm

I'm hesitant to try and speak to such a general question as this one, but I've decided that I'll give it a try to the extent that I'm able. You can take my opinion with a grain of salt; it is a big question and may not be able to be answered, but I have a few observations on the matter.

My collecting focus is on North American pipe artisans. I'm also involved in a pretty extensive interviewing and writing process that is resulting in a series of articles and a book on North American carvers.

I'm not sure that this is a question that CAN be answered in accurate terms. I believe that it can only be answered impressionistically as any reasonable answer requires inspection and observation of many different artisans' work over a period of time.

As is the case with most artists (and artisans), it is easier to talk about specific artisans. One of the difficulties is that there is a great deal of both artistic and technical influencing going on and the spheres of influence are not limited to North America. For example, H. Tokutumi has had a momentous impact on the work of many NA carvers, including Todd Johnson, Jeff Gracik, Michael Lindner, and Brad Pohlmann. Tokutumi's influence on Johnson has been adapted through mutation and experimentation and passed on (through his aesthetic filters) to people like Brad Pohlman and Jeff Gracik. Jeff Gracik is very open about Jody Davis' influence on his work. Jody has likewise influenced people like Michael Lindner. My point here is that the strong professional and interpersonal relationships between these various artisans cannot help but produce aesthetic influences along with technical advances.

Here are my observations (and opinions):

1. If I were to characterize the aesthetic vocabulary and shaping strategies of North American carvers, I would describe their shaping aesthetic - overall - as "muscular" in comparison to other Europeans and the Japanese. There is a certain "heftiness" and "beefiness" in both the lines and in the design; take a look at Larry Roush, Jim Cooke, Brad Pohlman, and Brian Ruthenberg and compare their approach to proportions and lines to the Danes and you'll see what I mean. There's a lot of testosterone in the overall aesthetic vocabulary.

2. As a rule, the pipes from most American carvers are larger in both size and smoking chamber capacity. Obviously, there are exceptions but since Americans like larger pipes, the carvers work toward satisfying that market demand.

3. North American carvers tend to produce more idiosyncratic and organic shape lines that suggest a certain "freehandness." These pipes are not so much freehands as they are evolved expressions of classically derived forms. Sometimes the derivation is not particularly transparent, but our inability to see it does not mean that it is absent. In a way that is not unlike jazz, American pipe artisans approach classical shape and line and "riff" on them. This is not so much a rejection of classical forms as it is honoring them through the act of departure. You have to know the rules to break them successfully.

4. The blasting style of most North American pipe artisans is considerably both more detailed and craggier. This is due in no small part to the use of smaller glass bead media. This media produces a distinct style of blast that stands in pretty stark contrast to most European artisans.

5. Some artisans working in North America - like Tonni Nielsen and Alex Florov , for example - create pipes that are more strongly aligned with the Danish and European style. Tonni may be in Kentucky, but he is clearly a Dane by training, sensibility, and results. In my opinion, Alex is sui generis and resists classification. From literally tens of hours of talks I've had with him about his approach to design and manufacture, he is probably more influenced by the Scandinavians (particularly Bo Nordh) than by anyone else.

In closing, as I wrote above, I can only claim these as my ruminations and conclusions from a number of interviews, conversations, and attempts to compare and contrast NA work with other work.

I do not - by any means - consider my opinion authoritative.
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showme1or2

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PostSubject: Re: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Wed Dec 26, 2007 9:21 pm

If it can't be called anything else, it must be North American.

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Mikem
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PostSubject: Re: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Wed Dec 26, 2007 9:36 pm

ZuluCollector wrote:
I'm hesitant to try and speak to such a general question as this one, but I've decided that I'll give it a try to the extent that I'm able. You can take my opinion with a grain of salt; it is a big question and may not be able to be answered, but I have a few observations on the matter..........

..........................In closing, as I wrote above, I can only claim these as my ruminations and conclusions from a number of interviews, conversations, and attempts to compare and contrast NA work with other work.

I do not - by any means - consider my opinion authoritative.
Thanks for sharing that ZuluCollector. Great observations and insights into North American carvers.
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PostSubject: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:16 pm

That summary is, IMHO, a definite Keeper -- the way a great tobacco review is.

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Bub

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PostSubject: Re: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:36 pm

I said previously that the USA was the melting pot and we all know that that is not my phrase. Maybe now we should say that the Internet is the melting pot. We can check out pipes from all over the world, not to mention eBay, to find the ones we like. I am sitting here smoking a Danish pipe by Tonni Nielsen, who lives in Kentucky, and I bought it in the US over the Internet. Let me also add that it is a fantastic pipe. Maybe the Internet will blur the distinction between regional carvers and pipes will become works of art or wild and crazy things while still remaining great smoking instruments. For example, I understand from reading the Internet that Trevor Talbert (http://www.talbertpipes.pair.com/) moved from the US to France and also sells pipes all over the world including China. I am sure that there are also many other carvers who do the same. What is his style? Is he a North American carver, dose he do his own thing or is he trying to provide what his customers want?
Let me end with a question: Has the Internet changed the types of pipes that carvers make?
Bub
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: Question for collectors...or anybody else   Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:56 pm

Bub wrote:
Let me end with a question: Has the Internet changed the types of pipes that carvers make?
Bub

Perhaps.

Previously, only shows, magazines, and Ham Radio have had the ability to spread ideas quickly among a large group of like minded individuals in regards to a hobby. The Internet does it in a way that combines all previous methods.

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