When I first took a look at Charles Cole’s pipes at the Chicago Show a couple of years ago, I realized that my home state, Wyoming, had arrived – at least in pipe terms. Charles’ work really spoke to me. It is quiet. Lustrous and beautiful, it makes the most of its materials, incorporating them into the shape in an organic way. I like the lack of ostentation. There is decency in just being enough without trying too hard.
I don’t own a Cole pipe, which is not to say that I haven’t tried. The right piece just hasn’t come along yet. I’m willing to take my time. It is important to me to have a pipe that was made in my home state.
I’m not sure why I’m having trouble believing that a pipemaker from Wyoming can make a living making pipes, but there it is. A Wyoming pipemaker seems as exotic to me as a Wyoming gazelle, having grown up there.
The purpose of this post is to draw your attention to the current issue of Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine where you will find that Bear Graves’ profile of Charles Cole is this Spring edition’s cover story. Those who know Bear will not be surprised that the article is an entertaining and insightful piece. It’s a good read.
I recommend that you avail yourself of the magazine’s other treasures, too, which include profiles of Kjeld Sorensen and Nanna Ivarsson, Chuck Stanion’s reliably delightful column, an amazing feature on microphone-shaped meerschaums, and Chuck’s tribute to Bill Unger.