Quoted from Stefan Seles Pipes
Some of you may already know me or be familiar with my presence at some of the pipe shows in the United States. I have been the Brigham (Brigham Pipes) pipe guy at a couple of the Chicago, Richmond and Kansas City shows. As the pipe production facility in Toronto is not operating, I no longer work directly for Brigham Enterprises although I maintain an amicable relationship with my former co-workers.
I got my first pipes as a Christmas gift when I was only 17. There were officers in my regiment, the 48th Highlanders of Canada, who smoked pipes in the mess. The pipe added a cetain distinguished presence when matched with the formal attire of a highland regiment. This was just the type of tool to add to my profile as senior cadet in the corps. I did not really start building my collection until some years later when I came across Julius Vesz's shop in the Royal York hotel.
My experience in the pipe making field started in 2001 with my employment at Brigham Enterprises in Toronto. There I was officially designated the Brigham Brand Manager. This position replaced the old pipe production foreman and incorporated not only pipe making and repair, but the oversight of the pipe tobacco products that were sold under the Brigham banner or distributed in Canada by Brigham. In the factory, at that time, there was one person who operated the filter making equipment, one person who was dedicated to the majority of the pipe making operations and then another shop worker who was the 'Repair Department' and one of the best sanders I have ever seen. Each one of these people had more than thirty years experience and I got to work right away learning all I could about the process that made the Brigham pipe the most popular pipe in Canada.
Learning about pipe making was not limited to the shop on Ripley Avenue in Toronto. Some of the more difficult tasks I had to perform included travelling to Italy to visit some of our suppliers. Over two years, I spent time with Alessandro and Luciano Lorenzetti of Lorenzetti Pipes in Recanati refining what bowls they turned for Brigham and learning their techniques in creating some of the most astonishing pipes I have seen. (And they did it so effortlessly) Those experiences were invaluable in developing my skills. I also had the chance to meet and discuss technique with Rudiger Will of Reiner Pipes in Bunde, Germany while on one of those tough excursions to Europe.
The past few years I have been quietly operating a pipe repair service with the majority of the repairs being Brigham pipes. I have to admit that I was not able to get the pipes repaired in a timely fashion due to time constraints resulting from my other profession as a captain in the marine industry in Toronto. Now that I am workinig for Upper Lakes Shipping, I have more time between assignments to dedicate to my pipe creation and restoration.
My philosophy in pipe creation is one that stresses originality. Like any other art form, I believe the artisan should have their own voice and not just mimic the popular. Pipe makers who have shown this character, like Michael Parks, Julius Vesz, John Calich and Colm Magner are the type of artisans that I respect. You will, of course, note that they are all Canadians, and that is probably a function of my association with them. I hope that you will enjoy my pipes and my effort to seek a voice that is unique to me.
My philosophy on restoration is quite simple. I treat every pipe as if it were one of my personal smoking pipes. Your pipe will be restored as if I was going to smoke it, and I do not like to smoke a dirty, broken pipe.
Stefan Seles 5374 Linbrook Road Burlington, Ontario L7L 3T9 Canada Phone: (905) 484-0093 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Homepage: Stefan Seles Pipes