Only seven weeks from now, a group of dedicated volunteers from the Chicagoland Pipe Collectors Club (CPCC) along with other generous members of the pipe enthusiast community will host the largest pipe show in the world over an extended weekend at the beginning of May, at the Pheasant Run Resort just outside of Chicago in St. Charles, Illinois. Last summer, I was honored to have my offer to do a poster for the show accepted by its organizer, Craig Cobine. My good friend and very good graphic designer Tad Herr contributed his time and skills to frame two pieces of my work in his clean and spare compositions for a handbill and a larger format poster. I can only hope that in some small way, they have served to help promote the event.
I plan to be at the show, and hope to bring a few framed drawings for sale, including the original pastel painting that I did for the poster art. I'll admire beautiful pipes by dozens of artisans from all over the world, leather cases by Neil Flancbaum, hand made tampers. I'll sample all kinds of tobacco until my tongue is burnt like crispy bacon. I'll drink beer in the smoking tent and eat delicious food that's bad for me. But the real reason that I'll be there is not to promote my work or to overindulge in the temptations of the pipe and tobacco collecting world. More than anything else, I'm going there to see people with whom it has been my great and unexpected pleasure to become friends. The value of that, for me, is immeasurable.