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Tobacco Days – Not your grandfather’s pipes

January 30, 2012

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner - Founders Insurance Group

Cindy Donaldson, our Director of Marketing, Sales and all things Social, is constantly after me to write the occasional blog about something that’s unrelated to insurance (is there anything else?) and more related to me personally, however uninteresting that may be. It’s been fairly well documented on this site that I am an avid long distance motorcyclist and on at least one occasion, it has been mentioned that I am a pipe collector. Now, I clearly know why I am a long distance rider, but the pipe collecting… well let’s just say that even I don’t have that quite figured out. I enjoy art and this unknown sub culture of pipe collecting is really about functional art. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Recently, I had the opportunity to guest blog on a very well done site called “Tobacco Days.” “Tobacco Days is a blog that features some of the world’s foremost pipe makers. It also writes the occasional opinion piece. My interest in writing for Tobacco Days was spurned by the desire to

Simeon Turner

write about two of the world’s unknown pipe makers as they make an effort to be one of the few real artists of the pipe world. I wanted to know what drives a person to this little known art form and what it takes to become collectible. Now, before you write off this story because you don’t have any interest, I ask you to indulge me. These are not your grandfather’s pipes, but works of functional art that are smooth in an effort to bring out the stunning grain that may be hidden in a block of briar, the wood that is used for the majority of the world’s pipes. Other pipes are meticulously “blasted” using sand, small beads of glass or other materials in an effort to highlight the grain of the wood. This process can take many hours only to find that the wood may have a flaw that renders the pipe useless. A well blasted pipe can sell for more than one thousand dollars and smooth pipes with excellent grain can reach several thousand dollars in value.

The story that I penned is called, “Liskey and Turner, Two Paths to the Same Dream.” I encourage you to take a look at what these two upcoming pipe makers are doing with their art. I also encourage you to look around the site a bit to look at pieces from men that already reached the pinnacle of the art form. Men like American Jeff Gracik, Maigurs Knets of Latvia, and

Stephen Liskey

Russian, Michail Reyvagin. Tobacco Days can be found at and the link to my guest blog is

I hope that you enjoy this little diversion from the exciting world of insurance and if you should happen to understand exactly what it is that has attracted me to this art form, please let me know!

Have a great day!

Chris Garlasco

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