SMOOTH HEART-BAMBOO SMOKING PIPE
Twenty-one year old Dan Bender is an American pipe carver. He was born and raised in Oregon and lives there now in rural Scio. Making custom and detailed briar pipes is his specialty. His passion for carving and love for art inspires his unique designs. Dan welcomes the challenge of personalized and unconventional pipe designs. Like most pipe-makers he enjoys the comforts of pipe smoking.
Dan first started making pipes when he was seventeen, in the fall of 2011. His fascination with wood-working turned to pipe-making when he held one for the first time. It was a plain Dublin that captivated him and stirred his interest. The functionality of the smoking pipe challenged him to test his skills. Starting from simple cherry wood he made many beginner pipes. It wasn’t until he discovered the uncanny nature of briar wood that he devoted his talent. He had grown a healthy obsession for pipes even before ever smoking a pipe. The ingenuity of the pipe itself was enough to enamor him.
As a child of the internet he spent many weeks combing through websites, studying artists, and admiring his favorite pipe shapes. He soiled many sketchbooks with designs and shapes. Dan’s Grandmother Christine Wechensky, was a talented wood carver that guided him in the arts. She armed him with tools and taught him techniques for wood working. Christine’s carvings had inspired Dan to make artistic pipes built around functionality. With her guidance he continues to bring to life many works art.
One of Dan’s works is the Angel pipe carved from briar. It depicts a divine winged being holding orb. The Angel floats above a stand made from maple burl where the tamper and tools can be found as well. He chose this design to illustrate a narrative that is completed in the act of smoking. Like the manna from the heaven; the Angel brings the smoker the gift of a smoldering orb. In truth the orb is whatever the viewer wants to in interpret it as, but pipe smokers will tell you the gift she bears is tobacco itself.