Abe Herbaugh made his Smokingpipes.com debut in 11/2013, his second appearance occurred in February of this year, and his pipes were near instant sell-throughs on both occasions. Given this level of demand, you may be wondering why it has taken us roughly seven months to get three batches of Abe’s briars on the site. I can tell you that it isn’t due to lack of trying on our part. (Sorry, I was just struck by an image of our pipe manager, Dennis Mann, dressed as a Dickensian urchin, holding up a describing tray to Abe and asking “More, please sir, more?” Pretty disquieting.)
Herbaugh’s amazing ability with spheroid shapes, as well as creating masterful shank transitions on to the same, was well established within the first batch of his work to hit the site. That said, this is the first time I have seen the young carver execute a Tomato in an overtly sconce-like manner, and darned if he didn’t nail it to perfection. The sense that the fore of the shank is cradling a globe is palpable, made even more unshakeable by the contrast of finishes and the tiniest flaring of the shank as it meets with the bowl. If you are considering investing in the work of a newer carver, an Abe Herbaugh briar is about as fine of a place to stack your chips as you are likely to find.
R. ‘Bear’ Graves