Blog by Steve Laug
A few days ago during my lunch break I was glancing through my twitter feeds and came across a tweet by Cody Huey showing some tampers that he had carved that looked a lot like Tiki carvings. I was intrigued with his work and had not heard of him before so I tweeted him and asked the cost. He responded quickly with gracious thanks and sent me a link to his website and store. I scrolled through his tampers that were up for sale and placed an order for a new tamper. Here is a link to his website if you are interested in his work http://codyhuey.com/
I am always interested in learning about the artisan that I am buying from so I read through his website with interest. I spent some time on the page where he wrote about his carving and his life. The part where he wrote about the connection to his granddad and his carving was fascinating to me. It seemed like he was truly continuing the family tradition. I have included his words and a picture of the two of them from his site below to give you an idea of the carver.
“I started carving right after hurricane Ike. We were without power for 14 days so I had to find something to keep me occupied. I would carve fish, shamrocks, and hearts. My grandfather was a avid wood worker. I can remember him making me rubber band guns and yo-yos when I was just a youngster. He was always cutting pieces of wood and making beautiful things out of it. He made shelves, stools, and things like that. I was working on a Texas Star for him just before he passed away. After his passing I put it down for a couple of years. I have now finished it and it is in my shop. The mustache men came from me wanting to carve something a little more detailed. At the same time I was just getting back into pipe smoking and found that the faces I was carving fit perfectly into my pipe as a tamper. After talking to my dad and showing him some of my work he said that I have the talent of my grandfather but with a lot more creativity. I really enjoy carving because it is a way for me to relax and still feel somewhat connected to my PaPa.”
The picture below is one I copied from Twitter. It shows some of the tampers that he has carved – his daughter calls them the moustache men. There is a rustic and interesting quality to each of them that makes them unique.
My tamper arrived yesterday and I have to say Cody packs a great package. He included a note card with a sketch of a Samurai tamper! It is very unique looking. He also included a handful of Werther’s Original Coffee flavoured toffees. He had no idea that those are one of my favourites. I then removed the well wrapped tamper to see which one he had sent me. I peeled off the wrapping and it revealed that he had sent the tamper on the far right in the above photo.
Through Twitter I asked him to include some information regarding the wood he used in these tampers. Cody sent along the following information. “Each tamper is hand carved out of Pecan trimmings. Each one is a little different depending on how the Pecan limb is. They are carved, lightly oiled and buffed with carnauba wax.”
I could not be happier with my tamper. It fits well in my hand. The wood is gently curved with a slight notch below the moustache that fits perfectly against my finger when I holding it to tamp my pipe. The carving is well executed and is kind Cody’s take on Tiki carvings. The tamper is cleaned of the bark and then carved. The majority of the tamper is the clean yellowish wood that has been smoothed after carving. Cody left the layer under the bark on the last ¾ inches or so of the tamper at the bottom edge. It thus has the dark colour in the area that will spend its time in the bowl of my pipe. I think this is an ingenious idea as on my other wooden tampers this part darkens quickly due to the ash and tars of the burning tobacco.
Those who read this review have a look at Cody’s site and join me in enjoying these uniquely carved tampers. I know that you will not be disappointed.
Thank you Cody for a well made tamper with individualized and unique carving, nicely done! Your craftsmanship is evident in the finished product. Thank you for the nicely done finish on the piece and the well packed shipping. It came promptly through the mails without any problems. The card and the candies was a nice touch. I will enjoy this tamper for a long time to come. Glad to have been your first international order.