History (from Will's site)
I was born in 1958 with a pipe in my mouth. Well, not quite, but I do come from a family that has had a lot of pipe smokers throughout the years. Several are featured on this page. My first pipes were acquired after graduating from high school, and have been a part of my life ever since. At the turn of the century, pipes switched from being objects of comfort and pleasure to an absolute passion. I began to express the passion by crafting several kit pipes, beginning in 2001. By 2002, I had invested in a couple of lathes, some briar and rod stock, and began learning how to make hand made pipes.
I have taken a different approach than many. Stubbornly, I decided to work a little bit every day, learning how to carve on my own. I promised myself that I would not bug the professional pipe makers, knowing they have better things to do than answer questions from guys like me. It is not that I didn't have help though. I was blessed that I was able to get to know some collectors who were kind enough to help me hone my style, offer me suggestions, and tell me honestly what worked and what didn't. I am eternally grateful to Greg Pease and Erwin Van Hove for the countless hours they have spent exchanging e-mails, looking at photographs, and steering me in the right direction. They are not alone. I also must give a humble bow and hearty thanks to:
Per Billhäll, Chuck Burtch, Ernie Carabillo, Tony Deisler, Martin Farrent, Neil Flancbaum, Jeff Folloder, Mike Glukler, Bear Graves, Ken Lamb, Jörg Lehmann, Craig Letrich, Mario Persico, David Quisenberry, Joshua Rosenblatt, Art Ruppelt, Mark Tinsky, Jim Turner, Sykes Wilford, and two very special Italian friends who I will leave unnamed.
These fine folks truly helped me “keep my batteries charged” over the past several years.
Early in 2004, I felt that my work was where I wanted it to be to enter the market. I took some pipes to the Los Angeles and Chicago pipe shows and my feelings were confirmed. And so it begins!
About Will's Pipes
My briar is aged a minimum of 5 years, acquired from a dear friend in Italy . My stems are always hand cut from German ebonite rod I purchase from Tom and Pia Eltang. I use Black as well as Cumberland rod for my stems. Smooth pipes began shipping in 2004, and sandblasts will be available in 2007.
I craft some pipes in standard shapes from the French, British, and Scandinavian schools, but strive to bring something different to each one. Unique pieces also come along. I base the shape of each pipe on the grain of its briar block, so each pipe will be a bit different.
Your pipe may be drilled with round, conical, or a tapered tobacco chamber, depending on its shape.
Special orders are not accepted, but I will maintain a wish list. So, if you see a pipe in the gallery that you want, please drop me a line and I will contact you when the next similar pipe is available, in order of requests received.
I insist you are happy with your pipe when it arrives. I try to do the best job possible through photographs and dimensional description to give you an accurate look at the pipe you purchase. However, if it arrives and it doesn’t meet your expectations for ANY reason, I want it back before you smoke it. I will even refund the shipping charges.
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