Eighth annual North American Pipe Carving Contest : Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine

Eighth annual North American Pipe Carving Contest

It was a privilege to be allowed to sit quietly in the room, observing the three judges deliberating, and it was a revelation to see how systematically they approached their selections. The pipes were lined up from one end of a long conference table to the other.

Deliberations began with each judge slowly walking the length of the table, getting to know each pipe one by one. On a second pass, each judge began to set aside pipes he believed to be worthy contenders, by pushing the pipe toward the center of the table. It quickly emerged that there was overlap in the judges’ perceptions—agreement all around concerning a number of entries. The remainder of the proceedings came down to good-natured debate and persuasion, and almost microscopic inspection and critique. Despite the array of entries—36 in all—agreement on the winning seven-pipe set was reached amicably in less than two hours’ time.

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Category: Feature Article, Winter 2018

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