I decided to grade my pipes as a means of communicating and controlling their value in the marketplace especially
when coming from a newer pipe carver.
Each pipe is graded
on numerous points but centering around three issues:
• Size of the pipe
Grain quality and consistency
• Difficulty of Shape, Decoration and/or Complications
I went through
several systems looking for an original way to illustrate grade. I aimed for some kind of logical and universal icons that
would not require a lot of explanation, special knowledge or memorization of seemingly random letters, numbers or symbols.
I knew there was no way I'd be able to keep that straight in my own head, let alone explain it to someone! After many months
I finally came to the universally understood ranking of Copper, Silver, Gold and Platinum.