Micah Redmond Pipes1 Total
Jacksonville, Florida native Micah Redmond's introduction to pipes came via a bandmate: the drummer of a band he was in one day broke out a pipe and some bulk aromatic blend as they took five from practice. They shared a bowl while sitting on Micah's porch, and he was left intrigued. It wasn't long after that Micah visited a local shop to acquire his own first pipe and quickly became enamored with the variety of pipe designs and the breadth and history of pipe tobacco blends. Soon this was followed by research on the internet, and there things really hit home as Micah discovered the world of pipes handmade by artisans: pipes as art. Drawing, painting, graphic design, and making music had taken up a good bit of his free time right into adulthood, and for him the creative connection was immediate.
The how-to-actually-make-a-pipe part, of course, was not so immediate. After his first attempts involving make-your-own-pipe kits and files, Micah discovered Pipe Makers Forum and so began the real process of investment: the regular purchases of new tools and supplies, and the long hours spent in the small home workshop he'd set up making what were then, as he puts it, "some not very good pipes."
Years would go on and practice would continue for Micah, as would his research into pipes; he became enamored with the varied realm of Danish-influenced styles, and especially the work of Tokutomi, Gotoh, Todd Johnson, Jody Davis, Adam Davidson, and Cornelius Manz (not to mention of course the Danish greats themselves, whose work had influenced these artisans). While his creativity pulled him towards those pipes-as-art, at the same time the process of actually trying to make pipes sparked a growing appreciation of the classic French and English designs.
The big step came, however, with a visit up to Columbus, Ohio, to attend a pipemakers' meet being held by Premal Chheda. This trip and return visits allowed Micah to gain from Premal a better foundation in pipemaking — a foundation that gave him the real preparation needed to join the crew at BriarWorks in Nashville, working alongside and continuing his learning from Todd Johnson, Pete Prevost, Sam Adebayo, and Bill Shalosky.
At this point in his career as an artisan Micah makes a point of keeping the pipes he creates varied in style, but can't help having a particular, personal affection for rounded designs, where he can really play with interesting and graceful flows of line. He keeps himself up in the asymmetry game as well, and has developed a knack for the use of color in a pipe's total composition too, as a complement to the form of a design. Regarding the latter, Todd's influence shows in Micah's adoption of Bakelite as a stem and accent material; Micah and Sam have even taken to pooling their personal resources to build up a shared stock of the vintage material (after realizing they were soon going to be racing or bidding against each other to buy up any good quality Bakelite that became available to them anyway).