Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pipe Dreams and Manly Men!--Father's Day Gift Ideas from the Men of Etsy!

As we approach Father's Day, I have been feeling more of a need to get in touch with my masculine side and reconnect with my muy macho muchachos (aka, my buddies).   Maybe it's because it seems harder nowadays to have male bonding time.  What with me being a full time father of three (cats: Primo, Bella and Camilla) and trying to raise them correctly (teaching them valuable lessons, like, they shouldn't jump on the dining room table...anymore--okay, I let it go on longer than it should have), finding the time to be a "man's man" often gets tossed to the side of the road, like a discarded and under-appreciated Tom Selleck Moustache (which, in my opinion, is a work of genius not to be attempted by anyone other than Mr. Selleck himself).

Well, in the words of "Lost" Scotsman and manly man himself, Desmond Hume...  

"No more, Brutha'!"

In fact, recently, I've been thinking about the age-old question, what makes a man a man?  Is it, as the BIG Lebowski once posed to The Dude, "...being prepared to do the right thing, whatever the cost?"...or is it just the Dude's well thought out answer to that question of questions?

Well, I never figured that one out, but I do know this, there are probably few things as definitely masculine as a pipe!

So, here are some pipe inspired gift ideas for Father's Day from none other than a few of the men of Etsy, or MoE's.

I recently joined the Etsy Group, Men of Etsy (spearheaded by another MoE, Giani, who makes great jewelry, his Etsy shop is here. )  These are the brave and fearless few of the male species on Etsy, who are dedicated to making things out of wood, glass, stone (and other manly materials) using their bare hands, hand tools (or sometimes nothing but their teeth), to create things like wood furniture, stone jewelry, clay pottery, art, housewares, things with electrical switches, and other doo-dads and thingamajigs that they've created in their man caves (aka, garage or shed, or an unused portion of their girlfriend's closet--and I say, "doo-dads" and "thingamajigs" because I'm too busy making things to actually name them--like a real man).

Looking through the many Men of Etsy shops , I noticed a pattern: Pipes!
(Okay, well, maybe I was looking for that pattern because I wanted to do a pipe-related post for Father's Day and it appeared to me after searching for it but, whatever.)  Nothing says "Man" more than a pipe!  And what better way to say Happy Father's Day to your favorite man than by giving him one of these pipe-inspired creations and saying to him, "Here, Dad.  Put this in your pipe, and smoke it."

Here are a few of the MoE shops that highlight Pipes (and pipe related doo-dads, what-nots and what have yous):

Etsy MoE Shoppe Numero 1: Matteart

First we have a few prints, or "etchings" as I like to call them (as in, "Would you like to come back to my place and see my etchings?"), featuring pipes by artist Matte Stephens, whose Etsy shop, Matteart features, among many other things, his many pipe inspired musings and very distinguished fellows (hmm..."musings" is not a very manly apologies, brutha's):

His artwork not only has this great retro feel to it but even has these super creative titles, like, "Count Abernathy was an avid bird watcher" (2nd print above, on the right) and "Uncle Rutherford comes for a visit" (3rd print on the bottom).  So, sit back, enjoy a puff and check out his very neato blog here filled with great art!

Etsy Shoppe Number Duece: MansFaceStuff

For the furry-faced dad in your life, we have a great grooming product from two very distinguished gentlemen (as evidenced by their names alone), Evan Dumas and BT Livermore: All-Nighter Coffee and Pipe Tobacco Moustache Wax

And, yes, as the name implies, this is a moustache wax that smells like a warm mug of coffee and a steaming bowl of pipe tobacco!   Guaranteed to keep that darned, wiry, bird's nest under your nose in control and keep you alert while you burn the midnight oil, doing whatever it is you do into the wee hours (I won't ask but for god sakes, discreet).  Their fancy moustache waxes, which are handcrafted and all natural, also come in Unscented and Gin & Tonic flavors!  You could probably even eat them!...but don't do that...

Instead, order a tin or two (or three!) of this Man's Face Stuff in time for Father's Day, slather it on, and pull an all-nighter with Dad by watching one of my favorite French flicks, "La Moustache!" an existential little thriller about facial hair or (twirling my moustache)...the absence of it...?  The film asks the question, "If a man shaves his moustache in the forest and no one is there to witness it...did he ever have a moustache to begin with????"   Hmm...intrigued?  Yes, you are.

Messrs Dumas' and Livermore's' (extra apostrophes in there, just in case) Etsy shop, MansFaceStuff (see, they don't have time to make up fancy names either) is based in Portland, OR, which, according to these gents, is "the most facial hair friendly city in the world."  And they should know.  Here they are, pictured during what looks like a very manly meal of brisket, bread and hearty ale (or a stouty mead of some sort, no doubt.)

Despite the potential threat of this saucy smorgasbord turning their sweet 'staches into muddy hornet's nests, does it look like either of their face-do's are in need of grooming?  I say, man, does it look like either of these gentlemen's lip brows are unkempt??   I think not.

Take note, gentlemen, and get your grubby mitts on some of their fine moustache malts and once and for all, get your facial hair affairs in order!  To Evan and BT, I say, well done, gentlemen.  You're keeping the men of America looking groomed and gentlemanly (and god knows we could use it) and fighting irony everywhere (damned Ironists)!  Keep fighting the good fight!

Etsy MoE Shoppe Numero Tres: HendersonPipes

Finally, what kind of article named "Pipe Dreams" would be complete without a real, honest-to-goodness pipe maker?

What's that you say (in a quivering voice)?  "I didn't know there were actually people that still make pipes.  Aren't pipes made by robots now?"  or "Do people still smoke pipes?...I mean, like, for...tobacco?" you ask.

You sad hooligan.  Robots do not make pipes.  And they never will.  At least not while they do not have lungs, and at least not while I can still live and breathe using my own lungs (or an iron lung...or someone else's lung [not without their permission, of course--that would be ungentlemanly]).  Of course there are still pipe makers! and yes, people do still smoke pipes, and no, not just with that other tobacco, but real tobacco!

Andy Henderson of Etsy shop, HendersonPipes is not only living proof of that but a real, honest-to-goodness pipe maker.  No, I would go one step further: Andy Henderson is an "artiste" of pipe making (and no, I would rather have not used the word, "artiste," thank you very much! but that's what he is, dammit!).

Pictured below is his Bent Ebony Billiard with a Handmade Stem

As you can see from this beautiful example, Andy combines time honored pipe carving skills with modern, yet still classic, shapes and finishes, all done by hand (take that, robots!).  He even goes so far as to make the stem by hand (which can take almost as long to make as the pipe itself)! 

Next, we have the Freestanding Emerald Quick-Smoke Pipe

This is for the elegant, modern man on the go!  It says, "Yes, I am traditional in that I smoke a pipe," but the smaller tobacco chamber, or, the "quick smoke" part of it says,  "I am also modern in that while I'm taking the time (from my very full schedule) to smoke a pipe, I can still answer your electronic mail letters to me whilst doing so (however, if you email me while I'm smoking this particular pipe, I probably won't answer you as I'll be too fascinated by it's beauty to notice, so please, stop your incessant tweeters or whatever you call them and leave me to puff in peace)."

And the freestanding part on the bottom says, "I don't need any kitschy Scottish Dog shaped pipe holders!  I can stand on my own one foot, thank you very much!"

The Freestanding Emerald Quick-Smoke Pipe is a beautiful little feat of modern engineering and traditional, time honored skill, and would make a great addition to any man's face, pipe case or a special place on his mantle.  In a word, methinks it awesome.

And last, but not in the least, the piece of resistance: Behold! the
Blue Dragon's Egg Pipe!

This blue-tinted beauty is described by Andy as being "the perfect pipe for anyone who enjoys reading about dragons and magic."

Do you know any man who doesn't like reading about dragons and magic?

Neither do I.

In addition to being a work of art to look at, this pipe would make a perfect gift for the fatherly Gandalf in your life, or a younger (read, present day, older) Harry Potter-ish Dad.  Even the Gollum in your life (you know, the ungrateful bugger who is always hard to shop for) will love this "precious."  (Just make sure he doesn't eat it thinking it's an actual dragon's egg--those are rare and must be protected.)

To check out more of the many great Men of Etsy Shops, visit their blog, and this Father's Day purchase something nice for your Dad from another manly man whom he might like to sit down with and smoke a pipe!  (and for the sake of Jobe, man, be discreet.)


  1. hahahaha awesome!!! thanks for the great post!

  2. Aw, Thanks! I had fun writing it.

  3. Absolutely an awesome post! Great to see some MoE shops!

  4. Thanks, Patrick! and thank you guys for joining my blog! Nice pens and bowls, there, Patrick! Just started turning myself not that long ago!

  5. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!
    Gift ideas for man