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Sergey Ailarov

Sergey Ailarov is one of the most prominent and successful pipe makers in Russia nowadays. Sergey was born in 1973 in Vladikavkaz, Russia. Fond of art since youth, he studied to become a jazz guitar player and composer. At the age of 25, he decided to leave his home in the beautiful Caucasus Mountains and moved to Moscow to pursue new opportunities in the art of photography for which he also held a great passion.

For his 30th birthday Sergey received a pipe. He was fascinated by the art of pipe smoking and started to collect pipes. The collection needs to grow, and as the times were hard Sergey finds the solution: he takes a whole block and carves a pipe by himself. This was the beginning of his new profession.

Being fond of pipe smoking, Sergey transforms all of his art experience into what he believes is a very functional and beautiful form of art, pipe making. Balance, quality of grain, and practical technology are the key features of his work. For Sergey, producing pipes is an opportunity to express his artistry in a form that can be enjoyed by all of the senses. He starts the pipe making process by sketching the shape over and over again until he has the perfect copy imbedded in his mind. Having a clear image of the shape, he starts to cut the briar into his creation.

The tradition of pipe making and pipe smoking in Russia is newborn, but the number of admirers increases daily. “Classical Shapes vs. Freehand” is one of the most popular topics for discussion in the Russian pipe smokers’ internet forums. Sergey has his own opinion on expediency of this heated debate:

“If we talk about pipe making in the context of art and creative work, then any hand-crafted pipe, as opposed to the one produced by machine, is the embodiment of a pipe maker’s individual aesthetics and of his beauty perception. The debates would have reason if the terms “classical” and “freehand” meant two different working processes. However, it is not the case, as when a pipe maker starts to work on a new pipe, he just follows the voice of his heart, and it does not really matter which shape, a “classic” or a “freehand”, comes out in the end. As to the masters’ talent – it reveals no matter which kind of a pipe is produced. The freehand shape usually requires a more laborious work, but still, any billiard calls for as many of master’s intellectual and emotional forces as any freehand pipe does.”

In each pipe Sergey completes, he imparts a reflection of himself, and he strives to continuously improve as a pipe maker and a person.


Courtesy of Smoker's Haven