• Obie's Conversations

    by Published on 11-05-2017 10:06 PM
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    Artisans create a bounty of shave soaps and creams for the traditional shaver that range up and down the spectrum in quality. Some are good, and some forgettable. I am disappointed in most of them. Oleo Soapworks, of Chicago, is an exception.

    Artisan Vida Perez Velazquez has created a range of superb shave soaps with intriguing scents that rival some of the big names. Luxurious lather, comfortable cushion and smooth glide characterize these soaps, their soothing aftershave properties especially notable.

    OBIE: I don’t think I am being lofty in my description. Your soaps are exceptional in every way. What makes good shave soap?

    VIDA: Wet shavers, new and experienced, ...
    by Published on 01-29-2017 01:36 PM
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    The straight razor world not only carries a colorful ritual, but it also has a colorful history. Straight Razor Place Mentor and historian Martin103 gives us a glimpse into the story of the straight razor.



    OBIE: What is the history of the western style straight razor? When did they come into use, as we know them?

    MARTIN: There is plenty of evidence found on paintings and illustrations going back to the 15th Century. ...
    by Published on 11-29-2016 12:00 AM
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    In recent years, the traditional straight razor has exploded in popularity around the world. Vintage razors, new productions, and even straight razors with replaceable blades, all have awakened a new passion in those still holding onto the wet shaving tradition. This rise in popularity also has sparked a new demand for custom-made straight razors that sometimes become works of functional art. Max Sprecher is one of a number of master craftsmen producing exceptional custom straight razors. I spoke with Max about his work.



    OBIE: You come from the Belgian world of art and culture, a long way from the Max Sprecher custom made razor in Las Vegas. Connect the dots.

    MAX: I’ve been straight shaving on and off for quit some time, 32 years to be exact. I bought my first razor at the age of 18 at a hunting store in Antwerp, where I was living at the time.

    OBIE: What was the razor?

    MAX: Puma.

    OBIE: How did you learn to use the straight?

    MAX: I had to master everything myself. And a local barber guided ...
    by Published on 04-02-2012 03:00 AM
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    Neil
    Neil
    Obie
    Obie
    The double edge safety razor (DE) has come far from King Camp Gillette’s days, serving in three wars, as well as shaving millions of civilians. Yet the changes in the DE have been mostly functional and cosmetic, but the principle idea remains the same. The distance between the 1904 Gillette and the current crop of DE razors is about that of yesterday’s shave and today’s. The old Gillettes are still preferred by some shavers. Then again, who can resist the gorgeous Edwin Jagger DE razors? I haven’t been able to. I have several models and am currently considering several more. You can never have too much of a good thing, is what I say. These days every time I shave with an Edwin Jagger DE, which is often, I send silent thanks to Neil Jagger, who founded the company in Sheffield, ...
    by Published on 02-26-2012 03:15 AM
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    Liam
    Liam
    Obie
    Obie
    I discovered Liam Finnegan through his YouTube shaving videos. There was Liam stropping a razor. There he was honing a blade. You could see the master at work with sure hands and an air of confidence from long years of dedicated barbering and straight razor shaving. If I had the tiniest nugget of Liam’s experience with the straight razor, the strop and the hone, I’d pin a medal to my chest and proclaim, “I have arrived.”

    Obie: Currently you are the head barber and patriarch of the renowned Waldorf Barbershop and Shaving Saloon in Dublin, Ireland. You have been at this since you were 10 years ...
    by Published on 02-01-2012 05:00 AM
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    Mark
    Mark
    Obie
    Obie
    Mantic59 is a legend in wet shaving through a series of informative and entertaining videos. Mantic59 is the signature for Mark Herro, a gentleman wet shaver who has inspired thousands into reaching beyond the electric shaver or the plastic cartridge razor to discover new worlds. His videos cover almost every aspect of traditional shaving, from making the proper lather to shaving with the double edge safety razor. Nothing on the straight razor yet, but there’s always hope.

    Obie: Didn’t I read somewhere on Straight Razor Place that you contemplated a fling with the straight razor? What happened to that?
    ...
    by Published on 01-01-2012 05:00 AM
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    Neil
    Neil
    Obie
    Obie
    The love affair between the straight razor and the strop is like reading Jane Austen by a warm fire, or savoring port wine with Stilton cheese. For me, aside from tuning the blade as if a musical instrument, stropping paves a link into a state of bliss. I often find myself stropping far more than I need to just because of that. No wonder I continue to explore the world of strops and strop makers. One such world belongs to British strop maker Neil Miller, whose vast interests and talents have amounted to a string of successful careers.
    ...
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