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Kelhammer

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Age : 43
Location : North East Indiana
Registration date : 2012-07-06

PostSubject: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:47 pm

So today I received a pipe.  Kind of a gift to myself. It was made by a reputable artisan here is the US. It is also my first Morta. It was priced at just over $250. In looking it over I noticed what appears to be a break out of the wood where the draft hole enters the bottom of the main chamber.  It is not very deep but it is there. Should this be a concern to me? My gut says it porbably will not affect the life of the pipe. I guess I just would rather not have found such a thing on what I consider a higher end pipe. At least to me. I am a craftsman myself, I know how such a thing can happen even with sharp tools and good technique. What do you expect when you purchase a "good" pipe?  I am waiting to hear back from the maker. I had to let him know what I found.
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Dramatwist

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Location : California
Registration date : 2013-12-05

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:51 pm

Kelhammer wrote:
So today I received a pipe...

The maker has a responsibility to make it right or to explain to you why it may not be an issue.

Best,
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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:03 pm

This is a tough one...

First, you need some idea of idea what quality a maker produces. This is a combination of certain factors: what are others saying about their pipes, what do the pipes look like to you, what is the maker marketing their pipes as? Price does not always equal quality, but it can give you an idea about quality. Is the carver fairly new, or have they been around for a long time?

As a pipemaker, let me tell you how I would personally like my customers to approach me if they had an issue. First would be to send a polite email and inquire about whatever bugs you. Let the maker answer how he sees fit. Maybe it is something that slipped by him and he can fix if you send it back, maybe that's how all his pipes turn out. If the maker is a new carver (under 4 years methinks is good) they may still be trying to figure out processes and technique. I know this is the case with my pipes, but they are also priced accordingly.

$250 is not a lot when it comes to the artisan world, so take that into consideration.

By and large most pipemakers do not want to screw customers or put out a sub-par product, but in order to grow they need to sell pipes. That means they sell a lot of imperfect pipes. I look back on stuff I sold now with a lot of embarrassment. Of course at the time I thought it turned out pretty well.

I don't know if that helped any or not. It seemed like a ramble, but I hope everything works out with the pipe. (FYI morta is fickle material!)
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Dramatwist

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Location : California
Registration date : 2013-12-05

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:18 pm

"$250 is not a lot when it comes to the artisan world, so take that into consideration"...

I have a bit of an issue with that... what is an "artisan pipe"? I totally understand what it takes to make a pipe, but where does "artisan" begin to justify this price point?

I have never spent $250 or more for a pipe. Never will. In my opinion, that's just paying for some name, reputation, collector's value or ego.

I value artisan pipe-makers... but in this economy, $250 or more for a pipe is, to me, excessive.

Some of you may disagree... and that's OK... I'm just expressing my opinion.

Best Regards,
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gravel

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Age : 43
Location : Oregon
Registration date : 2011-12-07

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:37 pm

Dramatwist wrote:
"$250 is not a lot when it comes to the artisan world, so take that into consideration"...

I have a bit of an issue with that... what is an "artisan pipe"? I totally understand what it takes to make a pipe, but where does "artisan" begin to justify this price point?

I have never spent $250 or more for a pipe. Never will. In my opinion, that's just paying for some name or reputation or collector's value.

Some of you may disagree... and that's OK... I'm just expressing my opinion.

Best Regards,



I respectfully disagree. $250 isn't a lot to pay for an artisan pipe.

I'm not a pipe maker, but to make a fair assessment of how much a pipe is worth before the reputation of the carver comes into play one must figure:
- How many hours go into producing their pipes?
- What extras are you asking for (nickel/silver bands, rubbing the pipe with rhesus macaque butt oil)
- What is a fair hourly wage? Is the carver trying to live off their pipes or are they trying to fund their hobby?
- How much do the materials cost? (briar/morta/cherry/olive, ebonite/acrylic)
- What are the costs of tools and the electricity to power those tools? Are they paid off?
- What is the cost to ship the pipe (box, padding, pipe sock, post)?
- Are the stems cut or preformed?

I am sure there are more factors that go into it.
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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:40 pm

Dramatwist wrote:
"$250 is not a lot when it comes to the artisan world, so take that into consideration"...

I have a bit of an issue with that... what is an "artisan pipe"? I totally understand what it takes to make a pipe, but where does "artisan" begin to justify this price point?

I have never spent $250 or more for a pipe. Never will. In my opinion, that's just paying for some name or reputation or collector's value.

Some of you may disagree... and that's OK... I'm just expressing my opinion.

Best Regards,

Let me see if I can answer your questions without opening a can of worms...

To me (and possibly me only) an artisan pipe is a pipe that is produced by a single carver who is not employed by someone else to make pipes.

When you consider an artisan could spend $100 in materials and sink 15 hours of work into one pipe, $250 is cheap. Most carvers understand you can't charge by the hour. I make very little money off my pipes that doesn't go straight back into the hobby.

Artisan pipes aren't for everyone. For me collecting artisans started off as a quality issue. Early on, I picked up a high grade Peterson estate that retailed for $350 and soon discovered that it was no better than $100 Pete. An artisan pipe on the other hand has, generally has a lot more attention to detail: nicer finish, hand-cut stems, better shaping, deeper slots, thinner bits, more open draw, better engineering, etc. However what really started me down the artisan road was the relationships you build with the individual carvers. You just can't do that with a company. Now I'll buy one of carver x's pipes because he is a great guy and makes good pipes.

Let me say this, though, if I were smoking for just the pipe tobacco and not the pipe, I'd buy a basket of cobs and call it good.

It takes all kinds.  Very Happy 
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Dramatwist

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Location : California
Registration date : 2013-12-05

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:44 pm

...and, BTW...

Penzance smokes as well in a Missouri Meerschaum as it does in a Dunhill.

As stated earlier, this is one man's opinion.

All respect to previous posters and their individual opinions. No offence intended.

Best,
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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
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PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:47 pm

Dramatwist wrote:
...and, BTW...

Penzance smokes as well in a Missouri Meerschaum as it does in a Dunhill.

As stated earlier, this is one man's opinion.

All respect to previous posters and their individual opinions. No offence intended.

Best,

None taken! I may own quite a few Dunhills, but I enjoy my cobs just as much (if not better).
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Dramatwist

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Location : California
Registration date : 2013-12-05

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:49 pm

Ocelot55...

"Let me see if I can answer your questions without opening a can of worms..."

Thank you for your comments. I understand your point of view.

Best Regards,
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Dramatwist

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Location : California
Registration date : 2013-12-05

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:53 pm

Now, where else in the world would one find such a civilized discussion of a disagreement?

BoB is truly an Oasis!

Very Best to All,

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BigCasino

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Age : 49
Location : North of Pittsburgh pa
Registration date : 2012-11-27

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:59 pm

Dramatwist wrote:
...and, BTW...

Penzance smokes as well in a Missouri Meerschaum as it does in a Dunhill.

As stated earlier, this is one man's opinion.

All respect to previous posters and their individual opinions. No offence intended.

Best,

I would have to disagree with that opinion, I have smoked penzance in a cob and I have smoked it in a briar and as they may Burn just as well, I can taste the difference. now if you would have compared the dunhill to a Dr. grabow I would agree.

Some guys that golf buy their clubs at Wal-mart, and some guys like to buy their clubs at the pro shop
they both play the same game, both clubs do the same job, but the pro shop guy, has something more to pass down to his children as heirlooms, or to regain some of their costs when they quit



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Dramatwist

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Location : California
Registration date : 2013-12-05

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:03 pm

"I would have to disagree with that opinion..."

You make some good points there, Big C!

I still think spending more than $100 on a pipe is selfish and overly-indulgent...

That's just my take on it...

Best,
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BigCasino

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Age : 49
Location : North of Pittsburgh pa
Registration date : 2012-11-27

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:09 pm

so in your eyes would there be a difference in owning 5 $200 pipes? or 10 $100 pipes?
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gravel

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Age : 43
Location : Oregon
Registration date : 2011-12-07

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:15 pm

Dramatwist wrote:
"I would have to disagree with that opinion..."

You make some good points there, Big C!

I still think spending more than $100 on a pipe is selfish and overly-indulgent...

That's just my take on it...

Best,

It certainly could be. For some people the amount is higher and others lower.

Ultimately it comes down to what is right for you. I'm not going to tell anyone who won't spend more than $100 on a pipe they are wrong, nor will I criticize someone who spends more than $1000 on a pipe from a carver who can command that price. It's beyond me, but more power to them.
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Kelhammer

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Age : 43
Location : North East Indiana
Registration date : 2012-07-06

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:17 pm

I am afraid this flaw is going to make this a wet smoking pipe. I hate a gurgling pipe. If that would be the case I will always begrudge spending the money. I will only know buy smoking it, which I am not going to do until I hear from the maker. I did write and share my concern, I was polite. For the record $250 is a lot of money to me. This is a Christmas pipe, not one special ordered, I bought it on line. I purposely have not mentioned the makers name as I always hear great things about this guy. He is not a new maker. I really thought spending what was really $282 would land me a pipe free of any defects. I really struggled with not buying this. After 3 weeks I caved and now I have a complaint. I hate situations like this. Now I have a pipe I will probably be sending back. This breakout is around .100 deep and .200 wide and jagged. If it smoked great I would be happy. It it smokes wet I will be pissed. I do not want to gamble it. Who knows.....
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Kelhammer

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Age : 43
Location : North East Indiana
Registration date : 2012-07-06

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:21 pm

Dramatwist wrote:
"I would have to disagree with that opinion..."


I still think spending more than $100 on a pipe is selfish and overly-indulgent...

That's just my take on it...

Best,

Smoking in itself is selfish and overly-indulgent. At lest from my point of view, but we only live once.
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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:32 pm

Kelhammer wrote:
I am afraid this flaw is going to make this a wet smoking pipe.  I hate a gurgling pipe. If that would be the case I will always begrudge spending the money.  I will only know buy smoking it, which I am not going to do until I hear from the maker. I did write and share my concern, I was polite. For the record $250 is a lot of money to me. This is a Christmas pipe, not one special ordered, I bought it on line.  I purposely have not mentioned the makers name as I always hear great things about this guy. He is not a new maker.  I really thought spending what was really $282 would land me a pipe free of any defects. I really struggled with not buying this. After 3 weeks I caved and now I have a complaint. I hate situations like this. Now I have a pipe I will probably be sending back.  This breakout is around .100 deep and .200 wide and jagged. If it smoked great I would be happy. It it smokes wet I will be pissed. I do not want to gamble it.  Who knows.....

$250.00 IS a LOT of money and as such there should be NO faults in the pipe. Something that is part of 100's of pipes turned out on frasing machines I would not be surprised to see one or two or so with faults, but NOT something that is purported to be a "hand made" product with better than the average qc as most "artisan" makers purport to have. If it were mine, it'd go right back and I'd ask for my money back, ALL of it.
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Dramatwist

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Location : California
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PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:48 pm

BigCasino wrote:
so in your eyes would there be a difference in owning 5 $200 pipes? or 10 $100 pipes?

Yes, but I understand your point.

I don't... amass pipes. I choose them for specific reasons.

When I see one I love the shape of, I buy it... unless it's over $100... I have yet to see a pipe I love the look of enough to spend more than that.

Best Regards and thanks for the reply!

Martin
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Hermit

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Age : 64
Location : Ascension Parish
Registration date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:51 pm

Dramatwist wrote:
"I would have to disagree with that opinion..."

You make some good points there, Big C!

I still think spending more than $100 on a pipe is selfish and overly-indulgent...

That's just my take on it...

Best,



I earned my money; if I wanna be "selfish and overly-indulgent," it's still a free country.  Twisted Evil 
Isn't there some guilty pleasure you spend too much on?
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Dramatwist

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PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:57 pm

Kelhammer wrote:
I am afraid this flaw is going to make this a wet smoking pipe...  

I'm sorry Kelhammer, I guess I hi-jacked your post! My apologies.

You paid how much for the "gurgling" pipe?

Best,
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alfredo_buscatti

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Location : Piedmont, North Carolina
Registration date : 2007-12-17

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:05 pm

Surely if you feel that the pipe may well not perform to your standards, then you would be best to return it.

As regards the cob/artisan/workhorse pipes, I think cobs smoke better. Lighter, in at least some models, and fabulous draw. Artisan pipes aren't better but they are little works of art. Depending on the artisan, there are few small flaws as compared to, let's say, Peterson/Savinelli/Stanwell. That's what I read, not what I know as I own not a one artisan pipe. Still I would maintain that design and execution tends to be very well done in artisans. That I can see, even in photographs. Look at Le Nuvole pipes. Many/most push the classical form just enough to make them interesting. Some artisans push design quite a bit further and still work as functional smoking objects, which in the end, I think, pipes are meant to be; always. Jonas Rosengren's pipes on QB, are an example of this. See:

http://www.qualitybriar.com/pipes/jonas-rosengren/

It is the last pipe in his listing, the wine-colored pipe called "VOLLROS."

Artisan pipes don't smoke better but they look a lot better, especially on close inspection. (But then I would claim the taharris pipe about which I wrote an exception; but surely this could occur at any price.) To me the workhorse pipes above are boring. I can't feel good about spending $100.00 on one when I can get the same off ebay for $50.00. As estates, yes, but that has never bothered me.

But heh, who am I to talk, the king of buying cheap! But if I had the money! Oooh la la!

All of this is just my opinion. Pipes arouse a lot of feeling for those who regularly spend time smoking them. If your opinion is different, please do not feel that mine supercedes yours.


Last edited by alfredo_buscatti on Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Hermit

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PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:06 pm

Kelhammer wrote:
So today I received a pipe.  Kind of a gift to myself. It was made by a reputable artisan here is the US. It is also my first Morta. It was priced at just over $250. In looking it over I noticed what appears to be a break out of the wood where the draft hole enters the bottom of the main chamber.  It is not very deep but it is there. Should this be a concern to me? My gut says it porbably will not affect the life of the pipe. I guess I just would rather not have found such a thing on what I consider a higher end pipe. At least to me. I am a craftsman myself, I know how such a thing can happen even with sharp tools and good technique. What do you expect when you purchase a "good" pipe?  I am waiting to hear back from the maker. I had to let him know what I found.


I understand Morta is very difficult to work.
I suppose this would be difficult to photograph.
I'm interested in now it works out.
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Dramatwist

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PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:26 pm

"Smoking in itself is selfish and overly-indulgent.  At lest from my point of view, but we only live once."

Agreed!

Best to you!

Martin
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Kelhammer

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Age : 43
Location : North East Indiana
Registration date : 2012-07-06

PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:57 pm

Ok this is a great guy. It has been explained to me by the maker that Morta is indeed very brittle and difficult to work. That the condition I see is a result of the drill breaking thru the brittle material. Knowing this does a lot for my point of view.  As a craftsman it is easy for me to understand and believe this explanation. He guarantees his pipes. I told him my concern is a wet smoking pipe.  He told me to smoke it, and if it's wet he will work with me to make it right. To make me happy.  I believe this guy will so I am going to smoke this thing, but not tonight. It's past my fun time for a work night. I am very impressed with this reply.
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Ocelot55

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PostSubject: Re: Expectations   Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:10 pm

I kind of figured this would be the response you would get. Like I said, most of us pipe makers are easy going folks. Plus you guys are their livelihood, so they will do a lot to make you happy. I'm glad it worked out for you.
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