Morgan Pipes is the pipe company of Chris Morgan, a California pipe carver. In addition to his own highly sought after line of artisan pipes, he produces the "Briar Cigar" and Blackjack pipe line, both of which are made in Italy, on assumption by Molina Pipe, to Morgan's design. The pipes are made in the former Rossi pipe factory, which before World War II employed 800 workers and produced a staggering 50,000 pipes a day.
Morgan's own pipes are stamped "Morgan" with a two digit year stamp.
Chris Morgan about himself:
"When I was little I made a promise to myself that when I grew up and had a career, I would do what I loved. I would be able to sit back when I'm old and know that I spent my life well and had a great time. My friends... I am living that life. I have an immense passion for pipemaking that all started when I was little. I have always loved creating. I would draw pictures , paint, whittle, and build things out of wood. In high school, I began to do pottery and was soon spending all of my time in the studio. By senior year I had perfected the art of wheel throwing and won the school art contest. I soon learned that I had a knack for fine art and eventually carving. Wood soon became my life. I began to build furniture, jewelry boxes, etc.
One day, while in college, I found one of my grandpa's old pipes. I remembered that he was a great pipe smoker back when i was little. It was an old "Shalom" briar. I smoked it on and off for about a month and then decided, based on my woodworking skills, that I could produce my own pipe. I obtained some briar and some pre-made stems and went to work. My first pipe sold to a friend for $150! I was blown away! So I made another and another. That was about 18 months ago.
Since then, I have spent much time and expense searching the world over to bring my customers the highest quality briar and stem stock available. My pipes are made entirely by hand and each is completely original and unique. These pipes are made one at a time, from start to finish. I do not "mass produce" or sandblast any pipes. If a pipe cannot be finished smooth, I will usually toss it or use it for other woodwork. I have recently transitioned to the amazing briar produced by Mimmo of Romeo Briar.I am also using some Algerian here and there. I meticulously hand-cut all of my stems from German Cumberland and Ebonite and all of my pipes will pass a pipe cleaner. I find that the best pipes come from a compromise between the briar and the pipemaker. I don’t work with any plans or sketches unless a customer wants a specific shape. I do not currently grade any of my pipes, because my work is evolving with every pipe.
I am self taught, but I have had some help along the way from a few seasoned professionals in this field. Namely, I would like to thank Rob Cooper (coopersark) for his cooperation, feedback and constructive criticism. And now, this is my promise to you, my friends: As long as I have customers to admire my pipes, I will continue to produce one of a kind briar beauties for the world to enjoy. Thank You All!"
You might also enjoy listening to Brain Levine's interview with Chris on the Pipes Magazine Radio Show
Chris Morgan Morgan Pipes, Inc. Los Gatos, CA 95030 USA
Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: cmolio iChat : email@example.com Facebook: facebook.com/morganpipes Youtube: youtube.com/morganpipes