My 2015 Chicago Pipe Show Haul

My 2015 Chicago Pipe Show Haul


Steve Liskey

Bamboo is a great material for pipes. Steve has great bamboo. Steve brings a wonderful new personal art to bamboo & briar.

That being said. I have had enough of white bamboo in my collection for whatever reason. I never expected to collect so many pipes with this material. I specifically blame Cornelius Manz and Steve Liskey for this situation. :) Happily I know that if I am buying bamboo, especially white bamboo, hopefully they are good pieces.

Those were my clear thoughts prior to the Chicago Show & then I see this pipe. So beautiful yet made from bamboo. What to do? I literally thought on it for a few hours. In the end, I could not help myself.

What could not hold me back from this pipe? The bend in that sucker is both gorgeous & enormous. I picture the pipes bowl floating a mile away from my mouth, dancing in the air, completely ignoring me & whatever it is I may be doing. The bend & length in this bamboo gives the bowl it’s own room to be it’s own person. Two distinct parts to this pipe. Bamboo and Briar. The bamboo lets that happen & Steve created this fun place to be.

Beautiful & smart stem work. Look at how long the tenon extends into the shank. It has to. He has to strengthen such a long piece.

The stem itself has its own unique face as well. Gently meandering around, going to thick and then thin.

From above, you see the slight asymmetry in the piece.

I cannot wait to smoke her.

I am looking forward to lighting her from a far.

All of this will be made possible by Steve, his mind & his special bamboo.

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From Chris Asteriou, I get my first Morta pipe.

This pips is also out of bamboo. What is going on? If I am tired of this white bamboo? Why am I getting more of it?

I can share that I did buy this pipe before the Liskey above so in part, I was thinking that this pipe would be the “last white bamboo” version I would add to my collection. Clearly. Completely wrong again.

Chris made a Tomato out of the Morta. A very nice, concise, clearly seen outline of a Tomato shaped bowl. I do not know Morta at all. Seeing Chris manipulate this wood and giving her such an exquisite standard Tomato outline though, makes this pipe not feel like something new & weird, with a new “hot” material etc… No. Chris is so talented that he makes this new material feel very natural & normal. This isn’t briar, its black bog wood that is likely five to six thousand years old & yet just looks like a good, normal, great great pipe.  When we have this situation of a pipe maker taking something that should feel one way & he brings her to a different place. I enjoy those moments. Something new feeling “old & normal”. It has been designed well.

The bamboo again, as with Liskey’s above is fantastic. Knuckles galore and Chris found a pleasant way to add some interest to sealing and glueing the material with the added orange dye.

A sliver of rounded boxwood hugs the end of the shank. A gentle bevel in the stem to show the boxwood off a bit.

Perfect looking smoking instrument.

Looking forward to my first Morta smoke.


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Young man Micah Cryder of Yeti Pipe gave us some serious art to look at with this next piece.

I have seen several previous versions where he is expanding the bowl’s rim in this ‘sea spreading’ manner.

In this piece, that major visual focal point in the rim is easily balanced out with all the rest of what is going on with this pipe. We have this major visual area in the rim but as your eye starts to travel around the rest of the pipe, the visual interest goes up & higher and the big crazy rim becomes an after-thought. It is not the most important thing on this pipe.

This pipe has grain. Loads of it. The feathery flame grain at the end of the shank & all over the thick round side faces of the bowl.

Added interest in the bowl’s rough outline. Another distracting element to add to the mix.

The whole pipe is a rather compact shape which adds to the ‘condensed feel’ that the whole pipe exudes. This pipe is not all over the place and spilling out with a bunch of extra’s. He has a lot going on on but it is all taking place in a small space. Great pipes are the ones that occupy a small space but say things in a loud way.

Wonderful stem.

The Mortise is a little added art as well. Those plateaux curls were not touched and allow it to reach up & onto the stem.

Beautiful piece from the young whiz kid.

A master piece from him in my opinion. We will never see another like her.


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Each show I buy what I call a support the new pipe maker piece. Purchased for the exclusive purpose of hoping to give a new pipe maker hope & courage to move forward and continue the craft.

While this next Abe Herbaugh piece was technically in that purchase decision category, the actual result feels very different. I feel like I got an amazing pipe at a great price that I already know is a fantastic smoker.

Abe’s pipe has already seen fire about 5 times and let me tell you, she smokes fantastic. I couldn’t be more pleased on that front. A mild form of shock actually. This pipe was made to smoke.

The briar itself is also a thing of beauty. That sandblast Abe did, with that nice thick jagged ring ridge is very pleasant to look at.

The contrast stain is also done very well.

It is a Brandy shape and a straight pipe which is not at all my usual.

I am so glad I got her. It is a great pipe, a great smoker, done by a great new artisan.

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Calm Smokes Everyone.

David M.

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  1. Chuck L - June 16, 2015

    Amazing pieces each piece a fantastic work, Yeti pipe is really amazing and Abe’s pipe is quite the looker as well. Nice haul and beautiful job showing them off so well

  2. Jari T - June 16, 2015

    Fantastic group of pipes! Thanks for sharing these.

    I like all, but that Yeti is my absolute favourite of them.

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