Mark Tinsky has quite an interesting story about how he got into pipe making! It started as a fascination in high school when one of his friends (Curt Rollar) got a job working with a pipe maker, smoking a pipe, and traveling vast distances on bicycles. In fact, Mark and Curt not only rode their bikes from New Jersey to Alaska [!], but also through the British Isles, Scandinavia, and mainland Continental Europe before the trip was cut short due to someone stealing their tires during a ferry ride between Greece and Asia Minor. (This fascinating story can be found in full on Mark`s site
). Mark and Curt had talked about making pipes together and - through various struggles - were able to have a breakthrough into the market in 1980. Times were different before the internet, and it took a lot of work to develop a brand and wholesale base for budding pipe makers. Their business became the "American Smoking Pipe Co."
Mark Tinsky lives in Montana where he enjoys fly fishing (which is how he and Rad Davis
met). His pipes come in a variety of shapes and finishes, though follow mainly classic forms. His finishing ranges from rusticated, sandblasted, to smooth-polished, with many having a combination of finishes while sporting acrylic stems and a variety of accent materials. Mark is also one of the few domestic pipe makers to grade his pipes.