In his recent debut on this site, Abe Herbaugh’s Apples and Tomatoes demonstrated his affinity for both the spherical/ovoid forms, as well as an advanced handling of the interaction between the bowl and shank; his transitions were quite deft. Not surprisingly, we ran out of Mr. Herbaugh’s pipes faster than Justin Bieber can rack up arraignments, and immediately placed another order. Upon snatching the Herbaugh tray out of Dennis Mann’s (pipe manager) hands, I immediately scanned the contents for spheres and ovoids (sorry about turning an adjective into a noun), and was delighted to see not only a majority presence, but even some continuing progress in an already strong area. We’re talking about only a couple of months, gents.
In addition to my pet delights listed above, Abe created a poignantly pretty, irreproachable flow from the fore of the heel to the button – a wonderfully subtle sine-wave with only (roughly) a 15 degree variance of arc between the peaks and troughs. While near the subject of stems and buttons, I have spent, literally, about 10 minutes ogling Herbaugh’s stem/bit work. Deliciously thin, hand-cut from tenon to button, and featuring a slotting that is about as precise as I have seen, Abe could give lessons on bit work to more than a few carvers out there, and I’d love to see them take him up on some.
--R. ‘Bear’ Graves