It looks as if my life has played a trick on me. On some weird coincidence I started smoking pipes and received Medical Institute diploma almost at the same time. In 1995 I began my career of a physician and became a devoted pipe smoker. I had never smoked cigarettes, but a pipe really caught my fancy. Since then hundreds of different pipes have passed through my hands. For some short period of time I considered myself a pipe collector, but then I realized that collecting pipes was not really my bag. First of all I’m a pipe smoke.

I walked a long way which hardly differs from the way that anyone devoted to his hobby travels on. At first there were some simple serial pipes, later some hand-made pipes from some pipe-makers, then the hand-made pipes from the expensive pipe-makers… But now only the truly beloved pipes are left to stay with me. Homely, cozy, ordinary pipes. There was time for intricate sculptural shapes fascination, but then it passed away. Everything that’s left is a pure and simple love for a pipe that can live beside you, unobtrusively giving you all the joy of the most delicious smoke.

I have never worked with wood on professional base before, but since my father was a furniture restorer by trade, I used to spend a lot of time in his workshop when I was a kid. I guess it might play its part and have some certain effect on my hobby, which began to occupy me more and more, and finally seemed to have overgrown into something bigger.

Having a great mind to make something by my own hands for pretty long time, I used to reject any arising intent at the reason of being afraid of getting disappointed with the final results. Then, one day my desire for creation had grown so strong that I could no longer resist to it and I decided to start with making my own workshop first. Due to my deep immersion into smoking pipes I was on friendly terms with some of the Russian pipe makers. This friendship played a great part in my decision to make smoking pipes. I’m the most grateful to Victor Yashtylov and Sergey Ailarov for their kind help in equipment selection and sharing their technologies of working with briar and vulcanite as well. It can hardly be overvalued. Some of the equipment that I use now I had to make by myself. It took me almost two years to complete my workshop arrangements.

I work with Spanish and Calabrian briar. Besides briar I make pipes of Strawberry tree wood. Looking back to my vast pipe-smoking experience I pay great attention to utility qualities of the pipes I make, trying my best to give some aesthetic value and completeness to the standard pipe shapes.

It’s not so easy to invent something really new, which can bring you a great distinction in pipe-making. Of course the distinction of a pipe-maker is in his style and its recognizability. This is the core of the craftsmanship. The art of craftsmanship is in something inconspicuous. May be I’m not so distinctive in the pipes I make, but I really like the classical interpretation of the pipes shapes. Making a pipe I do some things in my own way trying my best preserve all the qualities of a tobacco smoking instrument and create a feast-to-the-eye object. Always in search for the harmony, for some balance between aesthetics and utility.

I feel a very strong propensity for the sandblast finishing as I see some kind of a sacrament in it. It looks as if the briar block strips itself naked to expose its soul. Every block has its own character and its own secret. It often leaves no chance to the high hopes pinned on it, but sometimes reveals an unexpected, mesmerizing beauty. Briar is a live and unpredictable material, that’s why it’s so much attractive to me. It gives me a great pleasure to experiment with sandblasting a lot. It’s a particular creative process which doesn’t depend on the equipment level and craftsman’s skills only… it’s a sort of delicate communication with a piece of wood.

My pipes contain a big part of me. I put a lot of myself in when I make them, and if my works can make someone happy, it’d be the greatest reward for me and a very strong motivation for further work.

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