About Us

I remember well as a boy saying “what is that wonderful smell,” it was a pipe and I was hooked. My first drugstore pipe. The cherry tobacco and the burnt tongue. Had to be a better way. At 14, I walked into "Jack's pipes” and told him my sad story. This began my formal education in pipes. I learned the how, why, care, cleaning, who made the good ones and why many are, well, just bad. The history and books followed, with knowledge of tobaccos and their origins. I didn't know it at the time, but I had been given a mentor. I remember the day an order came in with a bunch of wood blocks and squares of exotic woods and black as coal plastic looking, long rectangles. He said “want to make your own pipe?” I never thought in terms of they were actually made. I thought they came out of some sort of an exotic machine, “sure" I said. That was the beginning. Many days later I was the proud owner of a handmade pipe.

Several years later, I got to be a guy that could make a pipe. Jack had passed on and I was in the military making free pipes for my friends in my spare time. I didn't know it at the time but, they would get the material and I would go to work. Thankful, I remembered how to do it. It never dawned on me till years later I was quite gullible. The pipes I saw in Italy, Germany, Greece and all the Mediterranean countries made me humble. There were places that turned them out in baskets but there were these small shops that peaked my interest, turning out these gorgeous handmade pipes which I couldn't afford. I had it figured now. Machine or by hand. No choice here. I watched and listened to anyone that made pipes. Saw most of the little things, or secrets that make a good pipe a great smoker.

Pipe makers are a different group of people. They usually have a great amount of experiential knowledge, are craftsmen, and love briar and its mysteries. Most of all, the ones I’ve met want, with a passion, to give you the pipe smoker an experience that transcends this world, to a quiet place where all is well and you are at peace. Nature makes the briar, man makes the pipe, but God is in the details.

J Fordham
Pipe Maker