My name is Chris Askwith, I live in Plymouth, in the South West of England, famous as the place where the Pilgrim fathers left for America. I have been making pipes since 2007. I started pipe smoking in 2006 and due to necessity more than anything else I started restoring estate pipes. Luckily I found many of my tools I used for silversmithing and other hobbies could be pressed into service to clean and repair estate pipes. In 2007 I started to attend meetings of the South West Pipe Club where I had the good fortune to meet an American pipe maker living in Cornwall, Paul Hubartt of Larrysson Pipes. It was Paul who gave me the opportunity to make my first pipe, and indeed the first dozen or so Askwith pipes were made using his tools. The money made from selling these pipes was ploughed into equipping my own workshop at home and now all Askwith pipes are made in my workshop in Plymouth, although we still get together regularly to swap ideas and new techniques.
Askwith Pipes are made using briar, English morta or strawberry wood and sometimes olive wood, airways are drilled to 4mm. Polyester, Lucite, Ebonite, Cumberland and Horn stems are used, very open inside and funneled at the bit. They are usually fitted with delrin tenons for ease of insertion and removal. I use a variety of exotic woods and metals for stem and shank accents.
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