I am thrilled to be writing this pipe review about a pipe from one of the nicest men you will ever meet, Murphy " Murf " O'Dean. I feel that it is very important to have a great feeling about a pipe maker , that you are going to purchase a pipe from. Every time you have that pipe in your hand you think of the maker.
I purchased the " China dragon " pipe from Murf. He likes to name all his pipes. First of all, I tend to look at pipes from a completely different perspective than most pipe smokers. I have been restoring pipes for customers, all over the country, for many years. I look at the engineering of a pipe first. A pipe can look great but if it does not smoke well, due to
poor engineering, then you have a problem. Murf's pipes have great engineering and they smoke great. Then you move into the beauty of Murf's pipes. He hand carves these beautiful pieces of art work, that you get to enjoy looking at while you are smoking them. He makes his own stems and his finish work is beautiful. I enjoy my " China Dragon " a great deal. I would like to thank Murf for his wonderful talent. We have become friends
since I first met him at the West Coast Pipe Show and I would like to thank him for his friendship.
Smoke in Peace, Steve O'Neill
As a pipe collector of over fifty years now, my eye is drawn to the exceptional. That is what Murphy O'Dean produces with long practiced skill. His pipes, two of which I have proudly added to my collection, are standouts even against the toughest high end competition. He has already won prestigious awards for his work and more will come.
With a cased Murf pipe in a fine velvet lined wooden box, you get a whole presentation for your lasting pleasure. Further, from the first puff to the last, you savor the best a fine briar can offer. Clean, dry and rich in flavor from the get go, a pipe by Murf is a treat the most critical collector must experience before his life with pipes is complete.
-- Ron Atwood
(Ron smoking "Golden Paradise"... Photo by AtwoodImages.com)
I love this pipe. Artistry unlike anything I have seen. Each hand carved skull has perfect detail. Open draw, easy to clench and beautiful grain. A handcrafted beauty! Thanks for the great smoker.
"Little Lizard, It's just a fine pipe."
"I met Murph at the West Coast Pipe Show in Las Vegas, and I was impressed by the sculptural style of his pipes. He asked for advice, and I offered a handful of suggestions that he incorporated into his pipe making. He has come a long way in a short period of time, and his pipes are truly unique."
Thanks to Richard Carleton Hacker whose guidance and encouragement lead me through early stages of my amateur pipe carving and on into a wonderful journey through the world of smoking pipes. He included a photo of my Grand Prize winning pipe in the first edition of his excellent pipe book The Ultimate Pipe Book.
To La Confrerie des Maitres Pipiers de Saint-Claude I offer my respect and gratitude. Along with "The Tinder Box International" they launched my passion for pipe making.
A major thank you to Rick Newcombe who bought my first pipe after my long hiatus from pipe carving. Rick is very well known in the pipe community and gave me a big push into understanding important basic parameters. His competent guidance advanced my pipe making several levels. Rick's two fine pipe books, In Search of Pipe Dreams, and Still Searching for Pipe Dreams, are incredibly informative and inspirational reads.
Big thanks to Steve O'Neill who annually hosts the West Coast Pipe Show (WCPS) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steve's tireless and herculean efforts make it possible for a number of pipe makers and dealers to gather, exchange information and display the fruit of their labors.
A shout out to Mike Murphy of the podcast Pipe & Tamper, a true gentleman and scholar.
I am appreciative to Jeff Gracik of J. Alan Pipes (www.jalanpipes.com) for his willingness to share his expertise and techniques in his on-line videos. They are an extremely useful resource.
Thanks to all of the members of the Central Coast Pipe Club, who provide camaraderie and encouragement every time we are able to meet.