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June 4, 2013

Visiting Vladimir Grechukin – Photo Essay




I hope you had time to read the previous interview on pipe-maker Vladimir Grechukin.

Since I spent a few days with him and his team in St. Petersburg, Russia, you can imagine that I was able to take a lot of pictures during my time there. Why don’t I take you on a tour of  Grechukin’s work shop. Getting an inside look is always fun. You get to see what tools he works with, a peek at one of his students, the business end of Grechukin pipes and obviously – Pipes! Much more as well. Many photos for your leisurely perusal.

Hope you enjoy.

If any incorrect pipe-maker terminology was used, for various equipment described, feel free to chime in and correct me.

 

Vladimir Grechukin at work, sanding out a new pipe shape

 

Vladimir Grechukin at work, sanding out a new pipe shape

 

Vladimir Grechukin at work, sanding out a new pipe shape

 

Boxes and crates of briar in the shop

 

Picture framed on shop wall of Grechukin with fellow Master, Hiroyuki Tokutomi

 

Grechukin showing me what I believe to be a Grechukin & Tokutomi collaboration

 

Grechukin showing me a set of un-finished pipes. Since this picture was taken about 10 months ago, I imagine that 7 of you out there are already smoking the pipes in these pictures.

 

Detail of un-finished Grechukin pipes

 

Grechukin showing us his goods.

 

Grechukin & Tokutomi collaboration

 

Grechukin & Tokutomi collaboration

 

Grechukin & Tokutomi collaboration

 

Grechukin & Shekita Collaboration

 

Grechukin & Shekita Collaboration

 

Grechukin & Shekita Collaboration

 

Grechukin & Shekita Collaboration

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Grechukin Pipe. Grechukin likes to accentuate the grain by making thin shanks. Highlights the overall 'full straight view' of the grain.

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Vladimir Grechukin

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Grechukin Pipe

 

Still Life of Grechukin's Pipe in Ashtray

 

Detail of Sanding Block

 

Sanding Block

 

Grechukin Work Bench Detail

 

Grechukin Pipe Still

 

Briar blocks Taking Shape

 

Premium Selection Briar Blocks

 

Ebonite Rod Stock

 

Grechukin Work Table

 

The Magnifier that examines the Grechukin Grain

 

Tools that dig into the Briar & Stems, Chambers & Airways

 

The shop is certainly not hurting for any Tobacco. Seems fully stocked!

 

Bottles filled with various colors for making stains

 

Detail of bottles with various stains

 

Grechukin likes using Horn. Lots of horns in there.

Grechukin animated: "Insert Caption"

Grechukin explaining how he likes a thin shank to allow the grain to fill the shank surface area and eliminate grain fall off.

 

Grechukin telling me: "Pipe Grain LooksPerfect!!"

She is almost finished

 

Grechukin animated. "Insert caption"

 

Grechukin Animated: "Insert Caption"

 

Grechukin beautifully animated: "Insert Caption"

 

New Briar ready for Your Pipes

 

Some PS Studio pipes drying. Grechukin tells me that each PS Studio pipe is hand-made by one his two students, following his direction. Each PS Studio pipe he says, is an individual piece of art.

 

PS Studio pipes waiting for their stains.

 

PS Studio pipes, with what looks like Zebra Wood

 

One of the best named 'stamps' in the biz – ElGrech. Stands for ELtang & GRECHukin collaboration

 

Grechukin showing us more detail of that particular ElGrech pipe

 

Grechukin showing me the birds-eye on a Former & Grechukin Horn Collaboration

 

Grechukin showing me the near final product of his collaboration with Former. A gorgeous Horn.

 

Grechukin holding up the Manduela collaboration pipe they made to a hand-written message from Manduela on the wall.

 

Manduela's message of love on the wall and the Grechukin & Manduela collaboration pipe.

 

Box full of Absolutely Delectable Pipes. These were part of the Grechukin International Project. Master pipe-makers from all over the world collaborated on this Amazing & Stunning set.

 

Vladimir Grechukin and myself, David M., in the work-shop

 

Grechukin with his friend and business partner, Alexey S. Grechukin is god-father to Alexey's son. I love Alexey's eyes in this picture.

 

Lev & Alexey – The men behind the truly great pipe store – pipeshop.ru & the business / marketing power behind the Grechukin brand. Good guys! Image courtesy of Naum Shteinbah.

 

Grechukin holding a wet block of briar. Wetted on purpose to highlight the grain.

 

Grechukin smoking his signature shape, the Chopper.

 

A beautiful PS Studio pipe

 

Grechukin standing proudly beside one of his Students, Sergey Dyomin.

 

Another Grechukin Beauty

 

Another Grechukin Beauty

 

Grechukin Pipe. Beautiful from all angles.

 

Various PS Studio pipes drying

 

Grechukin's student, Sergey Dyomin at his pipe-making work-bench

 

I asked Grechukin to give me his glasses and placed the vision that creates the art, beside the art

 

The Master, Vladimir Grechukin.

 

 

Thank you again to the pipeshop.ru’s Lev & Alexey for making me feel very much at home in St. Petersburg when I visited their shop.

Thank you to Grechukin for sharing his story, his vision and his time with me.

 

 

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