Penguin Briar

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Penguin Briar

Kim Kendall
Phoenix, Arizona 

Phone: 480 560 7285
Website: Penguin Briar


I started into the obsession/sickness of pipe making probably like a lot of other pipe makers, by wanting to make and smoke my own pipe, one that I fashioned myself. As part of their overall training, every Jedi had to make their own light sabre and I wanted to make my own weapon as pipe-smoker in training. I wanted the satisfaction of making my own weapon and being able to smoke a pipe that I made myself. I didn’t have a lot of expectations and figured it wouldn’t be much of a pipe to look at, but it would be MINE!!! And I knew I would enjoy the satisfaction of smoking a pipe that I brought forth from a block of wood.

I may not have been a "serious" pipe smoker or collector, but at the time I started the project of making my own pipe, I already owned 11 pipes of various brands & quality. For the most part, I liked them all to some degree and of course had favorites among the group. I will admit, there are also a couple in the collection that could be run over by my truck and I wouldn't miss them.

But I digress...

The first step in this whole thing was to decide what investment(s) I would have to make or be willing to make for the process of shaping a piece of briar into something that I could smoke. The most economical approach I could come up with would be to get a pre-bored block of briar (from Pipe Makers Emporium) and a Dremel tool to whittle and sand it down. Little did I know at the time what a slippery slope pipe making would be and the claws this craft would have on me!

I completed my first 2 pipes and then decided I needed to get some training about pipe construction, internal geometry, fabrication and finishing techniques, and tools. I was fortunate that Paul Hildebrand of Pipe Makers Emporium taught classes from time to time on pipe making. I took the next available class and have been making dust ever since. Since then, if I’m not actually making dust, I’m at least thinking about it!

Through Paul, I also came to know Horace DeJarnett, another well know pipe carver in the Phoenix area. With their guidance and support, I have been developing my skills while focusing on the basic fundamentals of pipe construction.

Since I have a full time job, most of my pipe making activities are on the weekends. A few of Paul’s former students, along with Horace meet most Saturday mornings in Paul’s shop to work on projects, bounce ideas off each other, solve world problems, and generally just have a great time as the Phoenix "Spit-n-Whittle" club!