And why?

Monday, September 16, 2013


Greeting to anyone who stumbles upon this far desolate corner of the blogosphere and hello to you faithful friends who have remained to see if this sadly neglected blog would one day again spring to life. It has been far to long since I have brought any kind of update to this page and life has gone in many strange, new and exciting directions. When last I was here my wife and I had just been blessed with our first child who is now beginning to walk, talk and keep use busier than ever imagined. I was posting pictures of the pipes I had made and trying to progress the craft, not to perfection but to at least a point I would feel comfortable letting the pipes see the light of day. I was in limbo as life was transitioning from a good steady job of ten years to a new chapter of self employment and uncertainty along with a great deal of child rearing to which I was a complete novice. I was purchasing and trying new tobaccos with the zeal and fervor of new discovery. And we had recently pulled up our roots and moved leaving behind countless friends and family to chase new opportunities and establish a new home; a new home as a family, not just the husband and wife couple we had been the for the previous thirteen years. As I sit here writing this my wife just put our unbelievably awesome son James to bed. Having a child has changed life in ways I can not even begin to explain but is understood by all who have brought babies into their homes. It teaches one to love on a whole new level and your perspective on everything changes. I once scoffed at these notions, thinking it surely could not bring about such changes but today I humbly retract those arguments as I now live life each day for a little boy that has stolen our hearts. And the family continues to grow because we are expecting our second in early March! We have settled well into our new home in the country and love it. I would find it hard to move back to a city of any size now. Last week my wife and I had to travel to Dallas for a few days and after the horrendous Dallas traffic I was ever so excited to return to my small slice of paradise were the nearest traffic light is at least fifteen miles away. Paradise in every way but the weather, I am tired of the heat, but being a life long Texan I have learned to deal with it for the most part. Pipe making endeavors are going well, just can't seem to catch up; but I suppose that is a good thing. I have now shipped pipes to people over a great deal of the U.S. and to a handful of other countries, along with gaining my first retailer, Big Star Cigar. I now look back at the early ones I have posted on this page and cringe but I guess that goes with all things we try and create. It is the hopeful evolution of the craft. But still, I have far to go and with each one finished I learn something new. My style and taste have gradually changed as I try to find my own niche in the world of briar. As for the collecting of tobaccos, I always desire new things but have slowed down on purchases. I would say that this is to thin down the cellar to make room for blends to come, but that would only be half true for finances these days are pulled in many other directions leaving little room for stacking tins. So I try to be content with what I have a treasure each new acquisition. Along with that I have recently had a thing for dark matured Virginias so feel free to make recommendations to what fills that bill for you. With all of this, and so much more than time allows, I simply say that life has been good, be it busy, hectic, challenging and tiring, but overall good. My desire is to breathe life into this page again staring now and to reconnect with the wonderful friends I have found here. You all add so richly to this part of my life and quite frankly my wife grows tired of pipe talk. I will attach some pics of a few recent pipes for those who are curious. And with that, goodnight.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Broken Dreams of Briar

I was able to finish a couple of pipes this past weekend despite a plethora of flawed briar. If you are not aware of the potential for flaws in a block of briar then consider yourself lucky to be free of such heartbreak. It is not uncommon to have a beautiful piece of briar beaming with all the potential of the fine smoking apparatus that it is soon to be. As you poor your time and labor into bringing forth the form of the new pipe greatly, anticipating the glorious creation to be, you heart sinks as a hole the size of a lunar crater emerges in the middle of the bowl or some other location that is sure to render the piece a lost cause. Now suppliers of briar will tell you that this is simply a part of life and that in the end it will work out that more often then not the briar will be usable. Well strike me twice with lightening and consider me shark bait for these odds seem stacked most unevenly against me these days. Despite such comforting assurance from said suppliers, I scrapped three pieces in row in one night this week. I have defiantly seemed to find more flawed pieces of briar then my fair share theses days. On the other hand if I were to air on the side of the half full glass, then I am assured to never see a flaw again, or at least for a long time, if that is truly the statistical stance of the "briar guys". But in reality I now look at each piece with suspicion bordering on contempt, questioning the briar's true motive, will you yield the pipe of my desires or leave me broken once again. With that I am off to the shop, I have a new shipment of briar to get into. Wow I really need a new hobby! Check out this weeks "successful" attempts.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Unspoken For!

While I have been busy trying to complete pipe orders, makes me sound busy when in actuality I'm just a slow worker, I was able to complete a couple of pipes this weekend that are available now! In the future I will list pipes that are "unspoken for" at the following site; Thanks, Chris

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pipes Made This Week

Yes this is a lazy attempt at an update but I have been on the road traveling with the wife for her job and trying to wrangle a two month old along the way. Next week we will be in Houston then hopefully stay home for a while. In the mean time I just wanted to share with all of you wonderful readers of my blog the pipes I finished this week! If you are interested in ordering a pipe from me you can contact me at: or conect with me at:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pipes Around the Globe

Its is quite possible that in my wanderings this last weekend, that I may have stumbled upon what is surely the coolest pipe rack ever created. Yes that does sound like an overly bold statement but sometimes a thing is created that surpasses those other vessels of similar purpose. In the end I guess it simply comes down to form and function but with "function" being so elementary in it's en devour we are left with "form" alone to express itself so eloquently. So, can I truly try to "wax poetically" on such a simple vessel as a pipe rack? Why yes I can. In a small antique shop in an even smaller town that lies a short drive from my current abode, I walked into this most marvelous piece from the glorious pipe smoking past. Now if I were to be completely honest then I must say that my dear wife was first to spot it and bring it to my attention, for she too saw it as a thing beauty and that was key in my acquiring it. To the point now, it was a pipe rack in the shape of a globe that made to hold eight pipes. Now to add even more function to the already outstanding form, the globe opens to reveal a humidor within. The only markings on the piece is a small stamp on the bottom that reads "Old world globe, made in Italy". The owner of the shop told me that it was a family piece to her and it came from Germany where it was bought as a wedding gift from the bride to her groom. The two "blue hairs" running the store where quite delighted, though a bit of haggling first ensued, that I would be giving it a new loving home but were then a good deal dismayed to learn that I planned to use it and that I partook in the use of tobacco.

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Pipes

In all of the things going on in life these days I have failed to post any pics of recent pipes that I have completed so here are a few of them.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A New Addition and Much More

Greetings all you disciples of the briar, hope you have all been well this past couple of months and enjoyed many good smokes. After a brief absence for reasons to be explained I am back to this small corner of cyber space to rant, rave and discuss all things pipes in general and pretty much whatever else is on my mind. I have so many things to share. Several new pipes have been made and leaving for their new homes, many great new tobaccos tried and lots reflecting on the everyday, mundane and extrodinary things of life but this must all wait for I have news of much greater relevance. On November the sixth of 2012 my wife gave birth to our first child, our son James Langston McCartor! It was not an easy entrance into the world by any means. Arriving a week early by means of an emergency c-section, we spent a roller coaster week in the hospital dealing with unstable blood sugars, jaundice, a heart murmur and a small whole in his heart known as vsd. We experienced new levels of stress and concern like we had never known. We spent five sleepless nights in the hospital making constant journeys to the special care nursery where he was under close supervision and monitoring. And we once again experienced the miracles of our most gracious God when we went home with a happy and healthy baby a week later. James is doing fantastic today. We still have to follow up this month with a cardiologist to monitor the vsd but the doctors feel confident that it will heal on its own over the next year and have no concerns of any complication from it. He entered the world at a whopping five pounds twelve ounces and just a few weeks later we have already gained three pounds which the doctors said was outstanding, this kid can seriously eat. As told to me by countless friends and family members, life has changed in ways one can not express in mere words alone. At first I was fearful of this "change" but now I have that understanding that only fatherhood can bring. I have joined that fraternity of proud dads world wide whose purpose in life has re-focused to the raising of such a precious gift.
Doing a fathers duty!