I've had the pleasure of knowing
Will for a couple of years, and seeing his work develop
from "promising" to "wow, this guy's got something."
He's not yet a pro, but far more than an amateur. He exhibits
the desire to attain perfection that will propel him to greatness,
if my hunch is correct. The three pipes I have, pictured below,
demonstrate something of his evolution. The prince is an early
piece, produced from a pipe kit. The billiard, and its baby brother,
the short pot, are more recent, hand-made by Will from raw materials.
His finish is exquisite, his stems, very comfortable. Drilling
is as good or better than I've seen in many pipes from more experienced
makers, and the smoking qualities are super. His design sensibility
is developing as rapidly as his skills are. I've seen pictures
of some of his more recent work; it's stunning,
and very elegant. His new shapes remind me of classic Ferraris
- a sense of motion, but with an an effortless grace that defies
my clumsy attempts at description. I can't wait to add to this
little group, but I'm not pushing. I suspect we'll be seeing
great things from him very soon. To top it all off, he's just
a hell of a nice guy. I'm thrilled he's allowed me to present
these pipes to the world. They've been my little secret for far
Addendum, July, 2004: It's been nearly three years since I saw the first Purdy pipe,
and I've been watching his progress with great interest. I am thrilled to be the
proud owner of Will's first commercially available pipe, pictured below. He has
finally launched his own site
and is showing his work, and, better still, making it available for
purchase! Stop by and have a look.
Early examples of Will's work. While these are exquisite pipes in their
own right, nicely balanced, beautifully constructed, superbly finished, and
excellent smoking, their quality only hinted at the wonderful work that was to
come from the creative mind of their maker...
|The first “commercial” pipe
from Will, a piece he calls “Altamont.” It's a wonderful smoker, and
has a delightful grace and delicacy, presenting the free-flowing motion
that defines his latest work. Keep an eye on this guy!
|Okay, so the photo is a little “arty.” I had
to do it this way - art for art's sake, in a sense.
This pipe has so many interesting curves, lines, twists and details, that no single
image can fully capture its beauty or its elegance, but the angle here, and the shadow tells
more of the story than a simple “mug shot” ever could. I'll be doing a complete write-up of the pipe
up soon, but in the meanwhile, the picture speaks volumes. It's an amazing piece! In only about four
short years, Will has transformed from talented amateur to a serious pipe maker. More than this,
I'll save for the write-up...