High Grade Pipe Makers are the cream of the crop. They have immense talent and it shows in their work. Did you know though that very few pipe makers are perfect in all the components of the pipe?
Less than 1% of pipe makers are perfect in all parts of the pipe. 99% of pipe makers are only very good at two to three parts of the pipe. That is all.
They are very good in a few specific areas & this is enough to be considered high grade material.
One Pipe Has Many Parts for us to review.
1. Exceptional Stem work
2. Exceptional Engineering
3. Exceptional Balance
4. Exceptional Shaping Skills
5. Exceptional Finishing
6. Exceptional at showing us new Ideas properly
7. Exceptional at creating a complete & 100% cohesive design
And we can even add a few more…
Most pipe makers will only get checkmarks beside two or three of the above areas. The rest of the pipe parts do not deliver the same level of ‘exceptional work’.
There is nothing wrong with this & it is actually very normal. It makes complete sense. I have pipes that show exceptional sandblasts & other pipes that show exceptional stem work. I have pipes that are balanced perfectly and other pipes that have fantastic engineering. It is extremely rare to find a pipe maker that covers every single area of the pipe perfectly. We will always be able to find flaws in any pipe makers work.
Obviously high grade pipe makers usually deliver average to above average results in all of the above categories. This is what makes their work ‘high grade’ in the first place.
True perfection everywhere & throughout the entire pipe is rare.
I don’t see this as a problem & I hope this is not surprising news to anybody. This will never be a problem as long as you, the collector, is aware of this fact. Once you are aware, there are no surprises with what you are buying & why.
This is not some strange occurrence found only in the world of pipes. It is actually very normal for all the things we buy to be ‘very special’ in one specific area. It’s true for cars & other goods we buy & the same is true for pipes as well.
A Ferrari is exceptional at shaping, showing us new ideas and showing designs that are 100% cohesive. How is their engineering though? From what I hear, Ferrari’s break down non-stop and are very expensive to maintain. Still. These few areas of shaping/cohesive design is enough to make that product “high grade” or exceptional.
Usually this single exceptional element about a pipe makers work is what makes their work stand out. It is their brand. This is a good thing. This is the pipe makers strength. Standing out in such a crowded market is very difficult.
Knowing the strengths of each pipe maker helps pipe collectors decide what they want to collect & why they want to collect it. I think this information is fantastic.
This is what we learn when looking at many pipes for many years. This becomes part of our knowledge base. This becomes our wisdom.
If you are just starting to collect then take my wisdom as a pipe collector and use it for yourself. Talking about this information openly is good for both collectors & for pipe makers. And come on….nobody should be upset. Perfection is so rare. Nobody or nothing is perfect. We are all full of normal mistakes.
Our job as collectors is to understand that these imperfections exist & for us to be aware of them. With this understanding, we can then make more calculated and more intelligent decisions regarding what we want to buy and collect. The more we understand all of these points, the easier it becomes for us to select what we want to have in our collection.
Why is this important? Because we should avoid the feeling of regret when buying a pipe. That feeling usually comes from bad decision making when buying a pipe. The more we know what we like & why we want it, the better our decisions will be. We can focus on what makes us happy. If the stem work is off a little, its ok. The pipe is still delivering in another key area that makes you very happy. Balance (in your mind) is achieved.
If you are chasing the perfect pipe, well, that can be fun as well. You can expect an enormous amount of trial and error and buying a whole heck of a lot of pipes for a lot of money however it is possible to find or come close to perfection in pipes. Reaching this goal is likely very satisfying.
This is the process of learning we must go through. The more you know, the less pipes you are trading down the road & the more you get to enjoy your collecting habits & your decisions.
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