Welcome to Briar Blues, where service is not a luxury.


Briar Blues - shop cam

The dropcam ( wifi web camera ) will remain set on public access 24 / 7 for the next little while.  I will post in this area if I am in the shop and working on pipes.  If I am and you are interested you may get a birds eye view of what has arrived.  Watch the condition of the pipes on arrival and what they look like when cleaned.  Yes, you will be able to watch each and every process ( as simple as they are ) of the pipe cleaning process.  I suggest that prior to visiting the shop cam you turn down the volume on your pc speakers.  If not you may find you'll be bombarded with some loud blues. 

Drop cam url is  http://dropc.am/p/bb1

Mike - not in workshop

 Facetime, email, or text IF you have any questions while you see the work being done.

Next update will be sent on ??

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 so diplomatic.

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 section.

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 carver”. 

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 carver”. 

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