Misha borrowed smart ideas that had not hit the mainstream of pipe design thought. These ideas were tethered to the popularity of his Reverse Calabash & Bee pipe design concepts. Slowly…we were leaving the land of traditional design & all of us were being exposed to radical new ideas.
The important item here to note is that these radical ideas, on their own, did not have a chance to gain wide acceptance. On top of the popularity of the Reverse Calabash and Bee however…well, a much different story. On top of that platform these new, odd, weird and interesting concepts have became much more widely accepted. Today, these “new concept” pipes can easily account for 5% of the pipes we see in the world. Moving forward, that number will only grow & grow.
The Air is Different Today
Look back at all the amazing artisans over the years who made pipes that stood out. We’ve had many. These pipe makers made unconventional work and while they received some attention from a small portion of our community, they were never taken seriously. They were not admitted into the club. Today, such artisans with their novel ideas no longer face that stigma, well, not to such a high degree at least.
I myself am firmly rooted in the traditional shapes. English, French, Danish & the Swedish forms of pipe design, that is my personal cup of tea. For myself, many of these abstract looking pipes are more art rather than smoking instruments. Thankfully though, my personal opinion has little bearing on the virus infecting our community.
All of us should appreciate this moment. Appreciate the artisan who brought us here. He opened the door to a different view & we should all forever be grateful. Revyagin gave us the Reverse Calabash, Bee and Abstract design trends & they are now here to stay. Just as we are grateful to the others, like Sixten Ivarsson, who have previously walked this new & different path, so must we also be grateful to Revyagin today.
Pipe makers the world over define Michail Revyagin and his work as the Most Inspirational, Most Influential and Most Amazing out there. All those pipe makers are absolutely correct and now it’s time for the collector community to acknowledge the same.
THIS IS THE BEST PART – FREEDOM!
Look at the general individuality in pipe work from just a short 10 years ago. We only had a hand full of pipe makers expressing themselves outside traditional shapes. Today, we see virtually every pipe maker taking a stab at new ideas in one way or another. Even the highly conservative Danish traditional masters like Former & Tom Eltang are more comfortable experimenting with new shape ideas. All of this started somewhere and that somewhere is mainly with Michail Revyagin. When this type of moment occurs, both the new & older artisan’s in our community become comfortable with the thought of freely expressing themselves. This is what we are seeing today. Our pipe making artisans are comfortable with the idea of letting go of the traditional rules.
We have freed ourselves from the formal elements of traditional shape representation. Led by Misha & several other pioneers, our artisan community can see the departure point from conventional pipe design. Those older ideas are already in the rear view mirror. We have broken through and we have entered a new era in pipe design.