Quite surprising - a new pipemaker from England: Chris Askwith!
Askwith pipes are made by Chris Askwith, who lives and works in Plymouth, England. A pipe smoker since 2006, he is a skilled silversmith and found many of his tools useful for pipe repairs. Having begun attending a pipe club regularly in 2007, he quickly became enticed by the idea of making pipes. During the next couple of years, he visited with other pipe makers, adapting his background as a silversmith to pipe making.
Askwith pipes are some of the very few made in England that look to the classic English shape chart more as inspiration than strict rules for execution. One can find Billiards and Bulldogs among his designs, but they tend to play with proportions and finishes like many contemporary American pipe makers. Utilizing blocks of authentic bog morta, Chris makes playful designs from these nearly as much as with briar. His sandblasting and smooth finishing are fantastic and one will encounter very delicate and precise hand-cut stems from Lucite, Ebonite, Cumberland, and Horn. Each piece is fitted with a delrin tenon and can be a study in engineering perfection. Many English pipes are made well, but Askwith pipes are steps above in quality compared to mass produced pieces in nearly every way possible. Courtesy, Smokingpipes.com
From the Askwith Pipes Website: My name is Chris Askwith, I live in Plymouth, in the South West of England, famous as the place where the Pilgrim fathers left for America. I have been making pipes since 2007. I started pipe smoking in 2006 and due to necessity more than anything else I started restoring estate pipes. Luckily I found many of my tools I used for silversmithing and other hobbies could be pressed into service to clean and repair estate pipes. In 2007 I started to attend meetings of the South West Pipe Club where I had the good fortune to meet an American pipe maker living in Cornwall, Paul Hubartt of Larrysson Pipes. It was Paul who gave me the opportunity to make my first pipe, and indeed the first dozen or so Askwith pipes were made using his tools. The money made from selling these pipes was ploughed into equipping my own workshop at home and now all Askwith pipes are made in my workshop in Plymouth, although we still get together regularly to swap ideas and new techniques.
Askwith Pipes are made using briar, English morta or strawberry wood and sometimes olive wood, airways are drilled to 4mm. Polyester, Lucite, Ebonite, Cumberland and Horn stems are used, very open inside and funneled at the bit. They are usually fitted with delrin tenons for ease of insertion and removal. I use a variety of exotic woods and metals for stem accents. All Askwith pipes are stamped with my name and also bear the Askwith stem logo made of sterling silver.
I am always happy to answer any questions you might have, and also to discuss ideas if you have specific requirements for a pipe, just use the contact button at the top of the page. If you would like to join the mailing list for when new pipes are available then please send me an email.
- You may also enjoy hearing Brian Levein's interview with Chris on the Pipes Magazine Radio Show
Chris Askwith Plymouth, Devon Great Britain E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: Askwith Pipes