Chicago Pipe Show 2015 – Pipe Picture Report

Chicago Pipe Show 2015 – Pipe Picture Report

I had to sit this year’s Chicago Pipe show out. I am still at home in California.

That still didn’t stop me from doing some type of reporting and I was able to get the pictures of pipes brought by some pipe makers from around the world who are attending this years show. Some of these pipes may still be available for purchase by the way so if your at the show and see something you like…..

Side-Note on Bamboo

My goodness. What is going on with bamboo? We are seeing a bamboo explosion right now, not just in the US but worldwide. It’s always been around but it seems like these days, 1 out of 4 pipes is using the material. With that being said & now myself owning 4 such pipes in my collection, I am taking a hiatus from the material. Specifically though the yellow color. If it is a black bamboo pipe, I may buy it. Yellow however, I am personally saturated with it. Although I have to admit that two of the most recent pipes I bought (past few days) were yellow bamboo so clearly there is a connection.

All pipe pictures are below.

A brief summary of who we are looking at.

Abe Herbaugh

Relatively young new pipe maker & very skilled. As I look at Abe’s work today & imagine him growing & learning more, I see him as the future Brad Pohlmann, five to 10 years from now.


Adam Davidson

Adam is not at this year’s show for the same reasons as me. Adam’s pipes are there however.


Brad Pohlmann

The American master brought another great selection of blasted pipes. One rather amazing smooth Acorn & actually a rarely seen out of his shop bamboo pipe.



Chris Asteriou

Our newest Rising Star from Greece brought a fantastic selection with him to Chicago. A wide variety of shapes. A wide variety of design range. Chris is doing some special stuff.


Clark Layton

If you look at last year’s (2014) Chicago Pipe Show Report Click Here and see the pictures I took of Clark’s work & compare them to this year’s, you will be amazed at the level of growth he has undergone. In just one year he has taken a giant leap forward. I am highlighting this because this will be a new trend we will all be seeing. Pipe makers will be evolving at a much higher rate. If you step away for a moment and don’t follow them, you won’t even know who you are looking at any more.


Ernie Markle

Ernie brought some great pieces with him this year. Most especially that beautiful squashed Tomato and that asymmetrical bent brandy. As well as an assortment of great small blasts.


Jeff Gracik of J. Alan Pipes

What can you say about Jeff that hasn’t been said already. One of the youngest American masters who can pick up any piece of briar and turn it into something extremely special.


Kurt Balleby

We see most of what the Danish Master brought with him to this years show below. Some spectacular pieces.


Mark Price

This young american maker has made less than 30 pipes. Think about that as you look at his work below. Less than 30 pipes.


Micah Cryder of Yeti Pipe

Micah is one of the youngest & most talented pipe makers today. He is 22 years old. Last years Chicago show was Micah’s 1st. In my pipe show report my comments on him were something along the lines of: “This kid can carve! Watch out for his future work!” Well, as you briefly glance at his show output below, decide for yourself. Same comments as with Clark Layton above. The level of growth on pipe makers today is occurring at an astronomical pace. Add in some smart tutelage (Premal Chedda), add in some additional design wisdom and some smart analytical thought and the sky is the limit for so many of these new & very talented pipe makers.


Michael Parks

My favorite sandblasting pipe maker from Canada. Michael always delivers the goods.


Nate King

From steampunk to robotics to ultra craggy good blasts. Nate is currently exploring several areas. My favorites of his are the craggy blasts.


Nathan Armentrout

One of the best part-time pipe makers in the US today.


Ryan Alden

Another of the new crop of US pipe makers making solid, absolutely full of all the fundamentals good work. Priced below $300, his pipes are a great bargain.


Sam Cui

Coming from China, Sam is very new but I see something special in him. Can’t quite put my finger on it completely yet but he has a way of understanding a lot of different shape design styles and he merges them together very well.


Scott Klein

Scott brought a lot of pipes with him to the show. Some amazing show stopper bamboo pipes. Some unique collaboration pipes as well.


Silver Grey

The only female pipe maker whose work we are showing. Thankfully Silver brings us the different perspective sorely missing from our hobby today.


Steffen Mueller

The first German pipe maker to make lederhosen look good is known for his abstract pipes. He works closely with Wallenstein, Wolfsteiner, Maier and Hansen. Their ‘Abstract’ collective focuses on artistic & sculptural pipes.


Steve Liskey

Steve is about to go full time as a pipe maker. Looking at this set of pipes from him and thinking about the first sentence, yes, it should make you excited if you enjoy his work.


I was not able to be at the show however during the past few days I was able to directly connect with a lot of the goings on at the event. With so many friends there & our internetZ, Facebook, Instagram and other smartphone technologies. All of that helped. It made it easier not being there. I wish I could have brought Chicago to Southern California for a few days but this turned out to be the next best thing.

I hope everyone at the show is having a blast. It looks like it is the most well attended show in CPCC history? Yes? No? Anybody have any confirmation on the numbers?


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  1. Brad Burgess - May 3, 2015

    Tremendous view of these pipes…thanks so much!

    • David M. - May 3, 2015

      Your most welcome Brad.
      I wish I had more time. I submitted over 500 pictures of pipes to my designer yesterday.
      Kind of overwhelmed him and in order to get it out by today (after about 8 hours of design work) he had to reduce down the number of images dramatically.
      In any case. I hope it gave you some ‘flavor of the show’ and that is whats most important. So glad you enjoyed it. :)

  2. Matt Guss - May 6, 2015

    It was an awesome show David. Thanks for the photo wrap up – I barely got out from the Seattle Pipe Club table for 2 days! However we did have time for some relaxation at the SPC cocktail party. Missed you in Chicago. But you have a higher purpose….

    • David M. - May 11, 2015

      It sure looked like it Matt. Enormous amount of people. Maybe biggest ever?
      Glad you put in another amazing year & I am already looking forward to the next one.
      I heard your sanctuary was another heck of a place to be. Lots of love from the community.

  3. Chris Kelly - May 8, 2015

    That Chris Asteriou prince is fantastic. Steffen Müller’s work is eye candy too. One day I’ll make it to Chicago – one day!

  4. BO - May 9, 2015

    David, please learn the difference between “your” and “you’re”. The first is to represent possession (your pipe = the pipe you own), whereas the latter is just the contraction between “you” and “are”. When in doubt, try to replace “your” with “you are”. If it makes sense, then you should change it to “you’re”.

    Thanks for the rather comprehensive report. Much appreciated.

    • David M. - May 11, 2015

      Hi Bo,

      Thanks for the reply.

      I will definitely take the advice into account but I know my limitations in this area and it does not keep me up at night.
      My focus is on several other areas and unfortunately, perfect grammar is not one of them.

      Nonetheless. Appreciate your concern and hopefully it is to better represent myself & pipes and for that I am grateful.
      Dont keep your hopes up though. If you’d like, your welcome to be my Editor before I publish. Now that is a real solution.

      Happy you enjoyed the pipes. :)

      • cigrmaster - June 18, 2015

        Thanks very much for your reporting and all of the pictures. I am a collector of No American artsian pipes with Rad Davis being my favorite. I see a lot of these new carvers producing pipes that are very nice in some cases. I am a buyer of traditional shapes and I don’t see very many from the younger carvers. I see a lot of shapes that I honestly don’t know what they are. I am a believer that until you can produce the classic shapes in a way that is really well done, they should leave a lot of the freehand stuff for down the road until they have proven they have the chops for the classics.

        Now of course I am not suggesting that all of their pipes be classic, but for me I need to see some apples, dublins, billiards, rhodesians, brandy’s, lovats, and the like before I will even consider buying from a new carver. Many of these new carvers are taking me right off their potential customer list because I do not see enough shapes that interest me. I am not alone in my thinking as many of my friends also feel the way I do and all of my friends have the money to spend on artisan pipes like I do. I know a lot of collectors who just won’t look at some of these young carvers until they see more classic shapes from them. I would also recommend to any carver that when you put plateau in weird places on your pipes, it looks to a potential customer like me, that you had a nice piece of wood, and you are just trying to save it by using plateau. Me and my collector friends, won’t consider buying a pipe that has that on it. Just a thought for annyone who might read this.

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