Cooke, James T.
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New: J.T. Cooke now has a website: http://www.cookepipes.com/
J.T.Cooke was professionally trained as a commercial artist at the Rhode Island School of design, but transitioned into the life of a full time pipe maker some 30 plus years ago. In the 1980's Jim began to repair and restore high grade pipes, which allowed him the opportunity to study the characteristics and quality achieved by master pipe makers. He also learned the differences between good pipes, and great pipes, and has been able to capitalize on this experience in the design and implementation of his own pipes.
Cooke works alone. He is World renowned for his beautiful deep, and very unique sandblasts. He has developed a technique using three separate blasting procedures to bring out and emphasize each block's own unique characteristics. He makes his own stems from liquid Lucite, which he tints himself and casts into rods. Jim has also developed a two part bowl coating.
In an article, called Go West, which originally appeared in the French Pipe Mag, Erwin Van Hove has this to say about Cooke's work:
"J.T. Cooke, Jim to those who know him, is one of the veterans. Active for 25 years as a pipe maker and repairman, he enjoys a solid reputation. The taste of his pipes is excellent as he has developed a technique for extracting the tannins from his briar, a source of bitterness. Cooke is equally famous for his comfortable stems that are hand made from an acrylic material that he produces himself. His models reflect a contemporary classicism. While he produces smooth pipes, oddly enough his fame and reputation was built upon his amazing sandblasts. Though in Europe, the old Dunhills, Bill Ashton-Tayor, and several Italian brands distinguish themselves by their seductive sandblasts, they are all surpassed by J.T. whose triple blast technique is probably the most stunning in the world. Through successive sandblasts, he manages to make the grain of the wood perfectly discernible, producing wonderful and impressing ring grains. His pipes have only one disadvantage : his blasts are far more expensive than the European counterparts!"
Fred Hanna wrote a fantastic article entitled, The Best Sandblasted Pipes are Being Made By Americans. Highly recommended reading, especially for J.T. Cooke enthusiasts.
- J.T. Cooke--In a Class all His Own is an excellent interview of Cooke by David M. on Tobacco Days.
- Check out Brian Levine's interview with J.T. Cooke on the Pipes Magazine Radio Show, as well as a second installment.
James T Cooke Phone:(802) 863-2072 , (802) 864-4955 Appletree Point Rd, Burlington, VT 05401 Website: http://www.cookepipes.com/