I view my work as functional sculpture linked to a world where I let my imagination wander.
Rolando Negoita is a graduate of the Romanian Academy of Fine Arts, Bucharest, and spends some of his time as an associate professor, teaching metalsmithing and product design at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Rolando can also be spotted climbing the rock cliffs of the Shawangunk Mountains or tending to his wood-fired sourdough bread.
A pipe is a tool. It has a function and, if it is well made, it will fulfill that function in a way that is both competent and rewarding. Like fine pens, knives, or watches there can be something more. Rolando’s pipes are made in the tradition of artisanal mastery. They smoke with ease and feel as if they were made for the hand. His approach has both the freedom to create in the best sense of modernism and, yet, display the age-old attention to craft that is so often lost in a world of mass production and commodity. His aesthetic vocabulary is wide-ranging and complex.
There are pipes that take their cues from ancient pottery, modern plumbing, Art Deco design, fruits, nuts, eggs, twisted vines, and creatures of the sea. In every case there is an awareness of the purpose of these objects. Rolando’s craft encompasses the skill of an engineer and the eye of an artist. He uses techniques of carving and metalwork that demonstrate a keen familiarity with the work of artists and craftspeople from many ages and many cultures. His ability to combine a modernist sensibility with old world skill is rare in the pipe world and even rarer in the world at large. New methods of engineering are combined with ancient knowledge into an object that has no true parallel in the world of contemporary pipe making and yet the influence of his work can be seen in the work of peers and students alike.
When you hold a pipe of Rolando’s in your hand and put flame to leaf, it is instantly clear that you are using a tool, an heirloom, and a masterpiece.
Rolando Negoita was born in Transylvania, a region of Romania with a long tradition of craftsmanship. Subsequently, his artistic background is rooted in many family generations.
Rolando's pipe making passion started back in Romania where pipes were not available anywhere on the market and tobacco could only be smuggled. He began experimenting with burls of all kinds, such as cherry and rose wood, though briar wood was still only a dream. These beginings led to an ever-growing appreciation and love for natural materials and especially wood.