In mid-October I had the opportunity to spend some time with our three Greek pipe makers. On a cool morning I started my journey to visit Chris Asteriou for the day just outside of Athens. Despite navigating via subway signs written in a character set unfamiliar to me, I found my way to Marousi and Chris' home. A former architect now full-time pipe maker, Chris resides in a flat, as does most of the Athens area, and works out of a bedroom which he converted into a workshop.
Chris was still adapting to his new space when I visited; he said the workshop and household needed some expanding, not because Chris needed more room to work, but because his new partner would need a workspace as well. Curiosity peaked, I asked him to tell me about this new carver. Chris explained that his partner isn't too much help right now, but with the right mentoring, she may become one of the greats. She just needs to grow up a little, or a lot; she's only five months old, but Chris is certain she will be a pipe maker. How could he be so certain? As fussy as newborns can be, particularly over light and sound sensitivity, there is one thing that sets the wee one at ease, without fail: the gentle hum of the lathe.
Although we'll have to wait some time to see pipes from the young prodigy, in the meantime, check out this behind-the-scenes video from Chris' workshop.