SS June 2016

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24 SMOKESHOP June 2016 W hether it was new and emerg- ing pipe makers, craftsmen branching out on their own, pipe shapes that push the boundaries and defy classification, or a playful explora- tion of unorthodox color stems, the 2016 Chicago Pipe Show had it all, packed-to- the-rafters with many first-time exhibi- tors and numerous meerschaum makers. The Chicagoland Pipe Collectors Club (CPCC)—organizers of the annual Chicago Pipe Show—reported that its April 2016 show was its biggest ever: more attendees, exhibitors, and tables than in any other previous year. And, the club definitively answered concerns that this might have been the last show held at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill. (or ever, as rumors swirled following the resort's emergence from foreclosure in 2014 and under new ownership) with the announcement that CPCC had in fact signed contracts with Pheasant Run for use of its Mega Center and other facili- ties through the year 2020. Lest anyone doubt the buzz these days in the pipe and tobacco market, consider that next year's show was en- tirely sold out during the second day of this year's event, something that the club reports has never happened in its nearly 20-year history. "Don't despair, we plan on adding tables to a maximum of 334 over our 'normal' 304 for next year," assured Tom Dinelli, CPCC secretary, at the club's May meeting. "The food court/beer garden will be moved to ac- commodate the table expansion." During the "pre-show" activities on Friday, April 29, the creators of a new video documentary about pipes and pipe making, Father of the Flame, presented a 20-minute preview of the full-length doc- umentary, which is still in producion. A feature-length documentary about "slow- ing down, embracing life, and learning something in the process," explained CPCC, the production "also delves into the modern world of the pipe culture, ex- plore the historical journey of the tobacco pipe, and show the making of a pipe from harvesting briar in Italy, to a finished pipe made by a craftsman in a remote corner of upper Michigan. Through interviews, narration, and cinematic imagery, the film will explore the timeless and transcen- dent nature of pipes." Chicago Pipe Show organizers said they hope to have the en- tire documentary available for screening at next year's show. A pipe-making seminar held on the show's first morning and led by pipe mak- ers Lee Eric, Mike Butera, and Joe Nelson featured a multi-station woodworking shop complete with power equipment. Participants started with predrilled briar blocks from Mimo of northwest Italy, as well as additional pipe making supplies from Steve Norse from Vermont Free- hand, and received hands-on instruction in the creation of pipe. A tobacco blending seminar led by Brian Levine of Sutliff Tobacco Co. and Per Georg Jensen of Mac Baren Tobacco Co. was very well received, Dinelli said, and will be returning next year, possi- bly in an expanded form. During the day-long course, participants sampled component tobaccos, learned the basics of how a blend is made and how condi- mental tobaccos effect a blend, and then created their own blends. First, participants were given six clay pipes and had the opportunity to sample eight different component tobaccos, not- > PIPESHOW SPOTLIGHT Reaching New Heights The Chicago Pipe Show marked its largest event ever this year and set a firm commitment for its future shows. >STAFF REPORT > Top, left: Joe Fabian, Pacific area sales manager at Laudisi Distribution Group, assists a show customer. Top, right: A proud particpant of the pipe making seminar dis- plays the fruits of his labor. Photo: (left) Laudisi Distribution Group; (right) CPCC.

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