Al Pascia



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 – & 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’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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