Pipes as Art?

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by Old Codger, Mar 3, 2013.

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  1. browny

    browny Member

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    I would happily smoke the first and last pipes, the churchwardens on the other hand not a chance I'd be afraid to break something that looks so good and so intricate....bags not paying for them though haha.

    I'm with the slightly more traditional on most things I guess as the 'punk pipes' don't do it for me.
     
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  2. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    The Yanik Knot pipe (and if it's not a pipe, what is it?) is now my avatar. Best pic I can do. :D

    Since I had Floyd Norwood fix a couple of my meers, none of them are more art than smokers. And their smoking quality is why I purchased them in the first place. At least that's the foremost desire. But absolutely some of them were purchased with the art being a strong secondary consideration. And my most beautifully carved pipe is not my best smoker, but I bought it thinking it might be.

    But yes, I'm willing to pay for art. If I were not, I'd buy all standard shapes. I buy most of my hobby-type goods with a strong emotional charge. Pipes, tobaccos, music, guitars. As I would be willing (if I had the bucks) to pay for an original '59 Les Paul (which may or may not play as easily as a new model but would likely sound better), I'm willing to shell out bucks for an exquisite carving that may or may not smoke as well as an Altinok billiard. But they usually do.
     
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  3. Russell Hartman

    Russell Hartman Stay Silver

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    The church wardens are about the only practical looking pipes in my mind. As was said they will probably never see tobacco & fire. It was already said in another post & I also like a beautiful finish on a pipe, but for me functionality, and practicality come first. If I can't smoke it-I don't want it, or have any use for it. I will also go as far to say(it may not be politically correct), but when I see price tags on some pipes I am amazed. Perahps some think five number figures for a pipe may be ok. Me I think its absurd. Pipes are for smoking. If it isn't really functional, or practical its useless to me. The delicate little nick-nack carved pipes that I see--one slip of the hand, and its over as it would be cracked, broken etc.. Yes they are unique, and I cannot, and will not take ANYTHING away from the artisans abiltiy, or talent. Lets face it-people like Mr. Parks have a skill, and talent that is wonderful. I just cannot see how thee balance, and over all smoking qualities would be leaps, and bounds over anything else--especially the functional balance part of the pipe. NAH---no thanks.
     
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  4. Old Codger

    Old Codger Active Member

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    Thanks for that. Makes sense to me.

    And for letting me be politically incorrect in my request of one that is cameratically challenged.

    Gibsons are a whole other conversation. Ghost built ones throw a real fly in to that ointment.
     
  5. psquared

    psquared DGErwin, my horse would like a word with you...

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    OC and others, those are some fine examples of technical skill and an artist's eye for form. As a wood worker I can appreciate them from the aspect of the degree of difficulty involved in executing those pierced shapes and getting them polished. To that end I would consider them an art form. However, for me, I feel there is just as much artistry involved in a carver examining a blank, using his experience and skill to decide what "standard" shape best fits the briar he's holding, and removing only what's unnecessary to get there. Great thread.
     
  6. Old Codger

    Old Codger Active Member

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    No argument there. I think that I commented on a thread about briar blocks that the real challenge was then to figure out what was in that piece of briar and making it reality. The standard shapes may not be any less difficult to achieve perfectly than the unique shapes. However, it makes sense that the standard shapes evolved in to what they are because they were more easily manufactured economically in quantity.
    The artistry involved in pushing the limits and creating a unique shape, from the enduser pipe smoker point of view, and how we perceive those pieces as art is more along my train of thought. A mild example would be the BST Canadian as against the Peterson Canadians I have a long familiarity with. The fundamental shape is the same but the BST has a significantly wider shank and differently shaped bit as well as a pleasing transition from the shank to the bowl, all of which took more time to accomplish than if he'd made a perfect copy of the Peterson. I suspect that for some reason the creative side took his fancy with that piece of briar and the result is no less of a smoker and I'm very happy with the look of the pipe. The art of the craft got a taste of the purely creative. Todd would be the one to ask about the process since I haven't talked with him about it.
     
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  7. psquared

    psquared DGErwin, my horse would like a word with you...

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    Exactly, well put.
     
  8. dwaugh

    dwaugh Moderator Moderator

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    I do think it's interesting exploring the 'outskirts' of what is art, craft, form, and function. Partly based on a PM I was having with Old Codger about this thread. I got to thinking about the pipe stand that Phinz's neighbor carved for him. (click here for the thread)
    [​IMG]

    I clearly think this is art, but is also has a function as a pipe holder. I suppose art has a function, which is enjoyment for the viewer (or artist) and possible the transmission of a message. I see no reason not to think any object should be excluded from art-dom, by it's possible function in the physical world. I guess what I'm thinking is there is no reason that a piece of carved wood (or any object) should stop being art just because you can smoke tobacco out of it. Then again, I would not go running around with a stock MM corn cob calling it art. Anyway, I think it's all interesting and I have no answers.
     
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