I get to see a lot of pipes throughout the day here at P&C, I mean a lot. Whether it’s going through estate pipes or measuring pipes or receiving in new inventory. It gives me a chance to inspect a wide variety of pipes from factory made to artisan. Some pipes surprise me and some pipes disappoint me. Some makers are consistent while others are not. I notice this, not so much because it is part of my job, it is because I am just generally interested in pipes. I like to compare buttons and slots from one pipe to another. I like to have a few pipes in front of me and examine them to see if the they are consistent. The more you pay attention to the tiny details the more you understand the artisans work. There are two makers that have caught my eye lately.
The first is Michael Lindner; he is among the top US carvers and his work is absolutely amazing. His fit and finish, upon very close inspection is nearly perfect. Some of his buttons are fishtails to counter balance the forward cant of the bowl. Some buttons are thinner depending on the size and weight of the pipe. I know a lot of positive things have been said about him, but to examine his pipes up close is simply a mind opening experience. I was familiar with his work before but to have the opportunity to examine his work really was eye opening. Count me as a Michael Lindner fan.
The other pipe maker is one I have never heard of before, Svend Hangaard. His pipes are light and delicate with superbly crafted, thin comfortable stems. They have a nice hand feel and each pipe is drilled perfectly. I have come to admire his work. Even the panel horn we have feels perfect in the hand. Looking at it you would think it would be uncomfortable, but to hold it you understand the rightness of the shape he created. He is an under the radar pipe maker but his work should be more widely known. Take a look at both of their pipes and see what you think.