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The Art of Edward F. Burak, Dean of American Pipe Designers
Ed Burak is the dean of American pipe designers whose work has had a worldwide influence on the thinking and the work of contemporary pipe makers. Born in the Bronx, New York in 1943, his first love was painting. His promise as an artist led to a scholarship to the School of Visual Arts.
In 1966, needing to have a Meerschaum pipe repaired, he met and subsequently began working with Meerschaum master Paul Fisher, with whom he stayed with for 5 years. During that time he produced a small number of Meerschaum pipes, a few of which are still exigent extant in collections. He also worked for Wally Frank as a pipe designer. In 1968 he bought the Connoisseur Pipe Shop, where he was able to concentrate on his own designs. Burak's pipes have been carved by a number of well-regarded pipe makers, among them Joe Corteggione and Tony Passante. Several of his freehands are in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and have been part of a traveling exhibit of the American Craft Museum.
Burak's work is best known as pipe design as fine art. He admires pays tribute to the classic English designs of the old Barlings and Comoy's and offers a line of "Classics" which begin with these traditional values yet reflect his own interpretations. He is best know for his freehands, with some higher end "Art Pieces" selling for thousands of dollars.
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