Ozark Mountain Briars
Welcome! I am David Johnson, carver from the Ozark Mountains. As of May 2011, I am no longer producing pipes due to health concerns. I started pipe making in the fall of 2004 while laid up from an accident at work. My beginning was modest, with a couple "pipe kits", files, sandpaper and a lot of elbow grease.
After I butchered the first two "kits" I purchased, I went on a web search for more information on pipe making. I really wanted to find better briar and have the knowledge to drill the pipes on my own. Kits are ok but will only take a person so far! My search led me to the site of Tyler Beard. At the time Tyler hosted what is now Pipemaker's Forum
I found a wealth of information on Pipemaker's Forum, and the chance to learn from many great pipe artists. I built up tools and equipment I needed and dove right in. And have been hooked ever since.
I've been a pipe smoker since graduating from high school in 1982. My love of art and creating things ultimately led me to crafting pipes. A hobby that is both rewarding and frustrating. My pipes lean more toward traditional shapes, although I do venture beyond from time to time. I enjoy working with wood, so many of my pipes have decorative elements made from domestic and exotic hardwoods. My ultimate goal is to carve good quality, good smoking pipes that are affordable, yet at the same time will bring pride and pleasure to the owner!
I also like to play with my lathe, and turn out a few pipe tampers as well. I use briar for the foot of my tampers to protect the exotic woods from the heat of burning tobacco. (Its also a great way to use up the "scraps" left over from making pipes.)
As of May 9th 2011 my career as a pipe maker is over. There are 3 reasons why I have decided not to carve anymore, Personal, Physical, and Financial.
I can't smoke a pipe anymore, which makes it difficult to get very enthusiastic about carving if I can't even smoke my own creations. (Thats the Personal)
I have developed a sensitivity to briar dust, and even wearing a respirator and using dust collection, I have to deal with some annoying and painful sinus swelling. Although I could continue to make a handful of pipes, the sinus problems aren't worth it. (Thats the Physical)
To make just a few pipes a year, I can't financially justify spending the money for another year of webhosting, domain names, etc. My webhosting account comes due in June, so the time to leave is now. (Thats the Financial)
My website will remain active until Mid-June. At that point Ozark Mountain Briars will be no more!
Thanks to all those who supported my carving efforts. I made some great friends, and met people from all over the world. I leave with nothing but good memories!
David Johnson Ozark Mountain Briars E-mail: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ozarkmountainbriars.com