From Rolando's website:
I was born in Transylvania, a region of Romania with a long tradition of craftsmanship. My artistic background is deeply rooted in several generations of artisans in my family. I am a graduate of the Romanian Academy of Fine Arts, Bucharest, Romania. I currently have my own design studio and I am teaching Metalsmithing and Product Design at Parsons School of Design in New York. My pipe making passion started back in Romania. While it was possible to smuggle tobacco in the country, pipes were not available on the market. Briarwood was only a dream. I overcame these hurdles by becoming fascinated and starting to experiment with burls of all kinds. My early pipes were made of cherry and rose hip burls. These arduous beginnings led to an ever-growing appreciation and love for natural materials and especially wood.
I have a well-equipped workshop, but when it comes to pipes, I am whimsically attracted to my old knowledge and love for hand making things. It is as if I find it impossible to allow machinery to interfere with the creative process of modeling wood into pipes. I have always been fascinated by the union of the functional and the aesthetic, and I view both my pipes and my knives as functional sculptures. I think of all objects I make as being tightly linked stylistically to a world of story and myth where I let my imagination wonder.
In an article, called Go West, which originally appeared in the French Pipe Mag, Erwin Van Hove has this to say....
"A special case for several reasons is Rolando Negoita. He is not American, and, it has hardly been a year since he made his entrance into the pipe world. Indeed, of Romanian origin, and from a family of artisans, Rolando Negoita studied at the Academie des Beaux Arts in Bucharest. Due to the shortage of decent pipes, he taught himself to carve pipes from all types of wood. He then came to the United States where he became a professor of jewelry and design. At the same time he started his own workshop where he began to create jewelry, knives, clothes, accessories, and, as was to be expected, pipes. Anything can inspire this designer, from whales to walnuts, from Greek amphoras to the Bauhaus aesthetics. If there is one single pipe maker about whom we can predict with certainty that one day his pipe creations will end up in museums, it is Rolando. Elegant, sensual, fascinating, perfectly proportioned and, above all, innovative, his pipes have revolutionized the appearance of the object that is so dear to us. Yet, they do not shock or fall into the trap of being too flashy or far out in style. As for the finishes, Rolando not only produces very appealing smooth pipes that are only waxed, he is also the creator of a new rustication style, the walnut finish, that imitates the look of a walnut. Does this great designer necessarily make great smoking tools ? Not to worry, as thanks to the advice of pipe makers such as Tom Eltang and Trever Talbert, Rolando’s engineering is exemplary. This is great pipe art with an immense potential. As a matter of fact, during the last Chicago Pipe Show, Rolando won the prestigious award for Best Briar Display. He’ll go far. Very far."
You may enjoy listening to Brian Levine's interview of Rolando on the Pipes Magazine Radio Show
Website: Atelier Rolando Address: Rolando Negoita, 85 Dewitt Road, Accord NY 12404 Phone/fax: 845-626-2685 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org