I just received an
email update from Antonio Centeno. His topic was on “protecting” your
image on the internet. Antonio suggested doing a Google search of your
name and see what all comes up. Before I read the rest of his article I
did a Google search of my name and what came up was interesting.
I found a number of sites ( pipe related ) that had threads that I was
mentioned in. Some offered some very flattering words, which quite
honestly I have never been comfortable with. However, on the Pipe
Makers Forum it appears I ruffled a few feathers. Why? The article I
posted on this page about Pipe Carving Masters. It appears some took
offense to what I offered as my opinion.
I enjoy a good
discussion about all topics related to pipes. It’s a great way in which
to learn. On the other hand when people use rude terms and are
condescending, I take offense. I have always tried to be diplomatic
in what I post on my site or on any forum. Right now I’m not feeling
What I offered were
my opinions. If you don’t like them …. That’s your problem. I am not
asking or forcing anyone to read what I post on this page. You are all
free to use the links above and never need to read what I offer in this
If you chose to read
my thoughts, do so at your own peril.
One pipe carver
asked “what the F&^% ( you don’t need me to complete the word he chose
to use ) do I know about pipe carving”.
Let’s see what do I
know? Oh yes, I used to carve pipes. I learned very quickly ( unlike
some carvers ) that I do not have the skills needed to make a decent,
let alone good, and a far cry from great pipe. I know what a pipe is
supposed to look like. I know what makes stem excellence. My mind
knows what is required. My eyes see acceptable pipes. Yet my hands do
NOT have the skills to make it happen.
A man must know his
limitations. I certainly know mine.
In the pipe carving
masters article I offered some names of carvers that I believe to be
“master carvers”. By that I mean they have “mastered” the skill of pipe
creation for BOTH classic and free form shapes. Are these carvers
considered the best in the world? Probably not. Will they ever compete
price wise with Bo Nordh, Jess Chonowistch or the Ivarsson’s? Probably
not. However … they all have shown me their abilities to make both
classic shaped pipes, and free forms in their own styles, and free forms
inspired by other carvers. Thus I offer them the title of “master
There is a long list
of great pipe carvers today. Brad Pohlmann, Jeff Gracik, Maurizio
Tombari, Luigi Radice, Roberto Ascorti, Mark Tinsky, Vollmer & Nilsson,
and on and on. These guys offer exceptionally crafted pipes. The list
of great carvers is a bloody long one, and you know it as well as I do.
The list of mediocre
carvers is not so short either. No, you’ll not get that list from me.
I do not go out of my way to insult anyone, unless provoked and only
face to face.
If you’re a carver
and found my little article not to your liking …. Prove me wrong. Show
ME that you should be added to the list that meets MY criteria as a
“master carver”. Don’t show me that you can mimic all the great Danish
shapes, or can make a Dunhill group 3 straight billiard. Show me you
can do both, PLUS show me that you can do something in your own style!
Hell, you may be the “excellence of execution” at creating a specific
style or shape of pipe, BUT the master is a complete being. Someone
that can work in all facets of their chosen craft and do it well.
FWIW, the more I re
read my initial offering, I should probably add a name or maybe two.
Tom Eltang should have been on my initial list. The only reason Tom
was not is that I had not seen a pipe carved by Tom that was a dead
classic shape. That has been corrected. Absolutely, Tom is a “master
Now if you read the
above and wish to discuss it with me, my email address is posted on this
site. You want my respect, then show me some by discussing the above
with me directly. Not in forums that I do not participate in!
Michael J. Glukler