First of all, I want to than you all so much for your interest and support. The response has been so overwhelming that I’ve decided not to just pick one pipe winner, but TWO!
So without further ado, here are the winners of the “Smoking Hot Adoption Raffle”!
First Prize (Custom Growley Pipe) Congratulations Brendon Pinkham! And Thank you!
Second Prize (Custom Growley Pipe) Congratulations Brad/Paige Hill! And Thank you!
Third Prize (Growley Pipe Bag w/accessories) Congratulations Nathan Hitchcock! Thank you!
Guys and Gals,
Nineteen months ago, we adopted a sweet little girl from China, making us a happy family of five!
There is another little girl that belongs in our family. She is five years old, and, somehow, even though we haven’t met her yet, we love her as one of our own, and we can’t wait to bring her home!
We were so blessed to be able to fully fund our last adoption. This time? We started with $608 that our family had been collecting in an “adoption jar” since November. This is where your help is very much needed. Not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone can help bring an orphan home. You might even win a pipe in the process!
I’ve been blessed with an ability to carve pipes, and I thought it would be a fun way to help raise money to bring Saffron home.
If you’re interested in our story, here’s a 3 minute video you can watch.
For the details of the “Smoking Hot Adoption Raffle” Click Here!!!
Thanks for your time.
The Rowley Family
The other day I was sitting outside my favorite local cigar shop and a gentleman walks out and says, “You’re the pipe guy, aren’t ya?” I always love it when a conversation starts that way. He proceeded to tell me how he’d like to have a pipe custom made for him. I love custom work because I get to know the future owner a bit. I believe that getting to understand their personality a bit helps me create a pipe that fits them better.
As Alan and I got looking through my archives, we talked about the use of the pipe. He wanted it specifically for his boat, it had to be a clencher, He also wanted it blasted so it could weather a bit of abuse without showing it. We went over several pages of pipes considering this and that, when I suggested the Devil Anse pipe. They’re sort of a cutty which has a nautical feel to it, and they’re shorter but with a generous bowl size.
But it was the name, Devil’s Anse that spoke to Alan. As soon as he heard I made the Devil Anse he said, “I’ve gotta have it!”. His new found decisiveness left me puzzled, until he followed up by saying, “You know my last name is Hatfield?” Done and done, the Devil Anse pipe it was. I think I was as excited to make it as he was to receive it.
I listened as he educated me briefly on some of the Hatfield’s history, and though I knew it to be true already it reminded me that these shows, The Hatfields & McCoys with actors like Kevin Costner, actually came from a part of real history. Real History with real people that still get talked about today.
I don’t know….you put a beard on Alan and he might just give Kevin Costner a run for his money.
As a follow up to my Nashville Trip I wanted to post a few pics for you. Grant is a wonderful pipemaker and we had a great time. I look forward to putting to practice some of the new tips and tricks I learned while I was out there.
Below are the pipes we made during our shop time. This is the first pipe I’ve ever made shape first, drill second. It’s also my first use of horn, brass ring insert, and military mount. Oh, and it’s my first acorn.
Well, this is a day I’ve been forward to for a long time. I’ve admired grants work for sometime now and I’m excited to spend the next three days seeing his process and understanding what it is that Grant does to make such magical pipes.
When it comes to making pipes, there are generally speaking two ways of going about it. The first, and probably more common way, is to drill the holes first and shape the pipe second around the holes. The second method, which is becoming more popular, is to shape first and drill second. This way gives you much more flexibility when shaping your pipe. It allows you to determine what the pipe will look like as you’re carving it. In many ways, you approach the block having no preconceived ideas as to what it will look like. As I have always drilled first and shaped second, I’m excited to learn this new approach and add the skill set in to my mix.
So not only will I be learning a whole new set of skills to practice and perfect, I’ll get to spend the next three days with a wonderful person and pipemaker.
You should take the time to look at grants site. You might just find something you like and can’t live without.
To all of you who occasionally read this blog, first let me apologize for how boring and unattended it is 🙂
I started this site to support a hobby that quickly became a passion. But having a full time job and a family of 5, has left me with minimal time to spare for hobbies and creative passions. Well, this blog is about to get much more active. Today I’m announcing that I’m unplugging from the corporate world to chase that pipe dream.
I wanted to post a picture that could tell the story that’s in my heart, and this one really says a lot. Having worked in the corporate world of sales for a long time, my creativity has always had to take a back row seat to things that were “more important”. But the time has come for me to give my creativity it’s day in the light.
Tomorrow marks the start of a new chapter in my life. I’m officially unplugging from the corporate machine and investing in my pipe making passion. I’ll be making pipes full time.
So with a little trepidation and much excitement, I’m stepping off and setting out to explore a brand new world.
What I’m really excited about is seeing what I can do with full dedication towards this wonderful hobby. As you can probably imagine, it’s sometimes hard to start projects and have to put them down over and over because you’ve only got a few hours at a time to work on them. I work best when I’m in the zone, and having been only able to work on pipes part time, it’s often hard to ever get in that zone. So, I expect to see an increase in quality, many new designs and better takes on old ones…and a whole lot more Growley pipes for you all to look at!
So, wish me luck and keep watch! There should be some new exciting things happening in the Growley Pipe world!
I’m opening the doors of the Growley workshop a bit wider with Instagram. I’ve recently created a new profile, @GrowleyPipes , where you’ll be able to see more of my work that’s in process. I’ll be using Instagram to show what’s on the bench, some of the new materials I’m using and even some of the tooling I use to create my pipes.
If you’d like to get in on the process a bit and see the progress of my work while it’s on the way to completion, just head on over to Instagram and look me up!
Well, for those of you who have followed my adoption sale, I wanted to give you an update on what has turned out to be a beautiful and wonderful time in the lives of this Rowley family. Right around a month ago, we headed out China to meet the newest member of our family. My whole family went with anticipation and nervousness. Our bigger girls had never been on a flight this long…almost 24 hours of air-time alone; we had never been away from our home, family and friends this long, and we certainly had never been to China! We didn’t know what to expect….except jet lag.
Minus two times when barf bags were needed…and weren’t supplied, the flights went very well. There were no delays and no changes, and for 4 flights across the world, that’s not too shabby. We arrived in China in decent shape and were greeted by our translator. He instructed us to go have a seat at the “KFC” and get something to eat, while we waited on another adopting family to show up. This was our first interaction with the public where we had to figure out how to order when neither of us knew what the other person was saying. I pointed to some sandwiches and paid the cashier and went away somewhat proud that I had successfully “hunted and gathered” in a foreign land. Now, I know the sign said “KFC” but it just wasn’t. It was pretty terrible, even by fast food standards. And seeing how I couldn’t get them to not put ice in the drinks, we threw them away nervous of the water.
The next day we met our precious little girl. We were among 3 or 4 other families who were also waiting for their children, and ours arrived first. All eyes were on this intensely emotional first interaction. There she was, standing right in front of us after a year and a half of waiting. This moment had been written in time before we even existed. This little girl was meant for our family. She saw us for the first time in person, opened up her photo album we had sent her previously and immediately started making the connections between who she saw in the photos, and who she saw in front of her. We were her family, and she was starting to put the pieces together.
The two weeks that followed were filled with joys, laughs, anxieties, confusion, giggles, tears, frustration, and pretty much every emotion that was created. It was wonderful and trying. It was beautiful and exhausting. And other than my middle one getting a sickness that sent her to a Chinese Doctor, and my youngest getting an infected cut that gave her a fever, there’s not a lot I would change. It was meant to be. We spent our time in China filling out paperwork and touring the area a bit. We went to a local zoo, where we as Americans became more of an attraction to those around us than the resident Pandas. We went shopping where we got to bargain for odd items, and we went out to eat at places where we almost couldn’t recognize the food.
The flights home were uneventful “barf bag wise”. We discovered that if we readily had them available before the flight took off, we never needed them. It’s like expecting it to rain, when you remembered to bring your umbrella. There’s a better chance it won’t happen if you’re prepared.
We got home ragged, tired, safe, happy and blessed. It has taken us almost two weeks to shed the jet lag and get back into a routine, but we’re doing great. The whole family is adjusting to each other better than we could ever have imagined. It was just meant to be, and already we can’t imagine our lives without Ivy-Ann in them.
Recently, I returned from the 4th annual Hutchmoot conference, where I presented their first ever Pipe Of The Year. I could spend about two hours explaining what type of conference Hutchmoot is, and you may still end up confused. So in lieu of a description that will only scratch the surface, if you’re interested, you can check it out here: http://hutchmoot.com/
While Hutchmoot is certainly not a pipe or tobacco conference, the attendees tend to be of the literary and or artistic type, and in being so, a good number of them smoke pipe. I was able to gather with sometimes 15 or more to enjoy a good pipe and excellent conversation. It’s a time that I cherish and look forward to each and every year.
Last year, I was approached by several folks who asked if I’d be interested in presenting a pipe of the year. Having a special place in my heart for this conference and these wonderful people, I was thrilled. Once I had solidified my participation, I began the task of choosing the shape. After much deliberation, I chose a Dublin/Zulu type pipe. While most pipe of the year pipes tend to be exactly the same, I decided to go a different route, making them all the same size and shape, so that they’re easily recognizable as a set, but uniquely finishing them all, so that buyer’s individual preference could be satisfied. Some were smooth, some were blasted, some had ebonite stems and some had acrylic.
The outcome was very fun to watch. I got to see each individual pick their own personal pipe from the lot, and happily take it for themselves. I even had the opportunity to smoke the first break-in bowl with a number of them. It was very intriguing to see why each person picked the one they did, and somehow, each seemed to fit the buyer in a unique personal way.
I look forward to preparing the 2nd Annual Rabbit Room/Hutchmoot Pipe of the year!
Here’s a look at the pipes:
Thank you all for your interest in my pipes. And, for those of you who bought a pipe during this sale, you will forever be a part of our adoption story. I can’t thank you all enough. With a few final arrangements to make, we are only a few months away from traveling to pick up our little girl!
Over one full year ago my wife and I decided to adopt a little girl from China. There are millions of children in the world today who don’t have someone to tuck them in at night, who don’t have a chance for education, who simply don’t have someone to love them. At first, I was very hesitant to even consider the possibility of adoption because I felt that if I started learning about it, my eyes would be opened to the overwhelming tragedy that exists. I knew that if I let my mind open to the pain and reality that’s out there for these orphans, that my heart would break, and I knew I couldn’t save them all…
…but I did let myself think about it. And I realized that no, I can’t save them all, but God can use me to make a big difference in the life of at least one (or maybe two!). And that was the beginning of a major heart-change in my life.
If you’ve ever looked into adoption, you probably know that it can take a very long time. In our case, there’s a good chance it will take a year and a half. And if you’ve looked into international adoption, you probably know that it is very expensive, up to a full year’s salary in some cases.
Well, I’m very excited to say that we’re getting very close to bringing our little girl home from China, and, financially, we’re getting close as well. I’ve been using the sales of my pipes to help fund our adoption, and I’m hoping for one final push. So with all that said, I’m running a huge sale on all of my available pipes for the month of September. To that end, I’m taking a full $100 off of each and every pipe.
So whether you want to help support my family and me by taking advantage of this sale, or you simply want to buy a nice pipe at a great price, I would be greatly appreciative of any sale made this September.
Thanks for your time.
In 2012 the History Channel aired a three part miniseries titled, “Hatfields & McCoys“, staring Kevin Costner as William Anderson, leader of the Hatfields. In this series, Kevin smoked a small pipe that has been given the name of the Devil Anse. It’s certainly not the most elegant of pipes, as should probably be expected for the role it has to fill, but the frequent appearance of this pipe, most likely paired with Kevin’s stellar performances, has made the shape a bit of a buzz in the pipe world.
Since I’ve been making pipes, I’ve had more requests for this shape than any other in my repertoire. The thing I’ve found most interesting about it is that most folks have their own take on what the pipe actually is. A common theme seems to be that the Devil Anse pipe is a nosewarmer, meaning extremely short. I’ve always held that Kevin probably isn’t clenching this pipe at the tip of the bit, leaving most of the pipe showing outside. I’ve thought that he stuck a good bit of the pipe bit and stem into his mouth. While I’ve doubted the nosewarmer theory, I of course do my best to make the pipe the customer wants, which is why there are some variations on my site.
But still, I wanted to know just what the pipe actually was, so after a little research I’ve found that my initial thoughts of this pipe were true. This is a very small pipe indeed, but it’s a good deal longer than most people tend to think. While I can’t seem to find a true profile of this little mystery, this still show it fairly clear.
So, until Kevin calls me up some day and sets up a time to go smoke a pipe, this is the closest I’ll probably come to knowing for sure exactly what the Devil Anse pipe should look like.
I’ve been in many conversations where people talk about how their pipes gurgle, and it astounds me, not only that so many pipes gurgle, but that so many people put up with it! To me, a gurgling pipe is no different than a car that backfires. If a pipe gurgles, (in my opinion) it’s just not “running” right.
Sure, there are all kinds of arguments that can be made for the smoking style, or humidity of the tobacco and so on, but to me, that focus is a bit off. I don’t consider myself an expert smoker by any means, and to add to my novice, I tend to favor heavy aromatic tobaccos. What that means is that I probably smoke too hot, too fast, and too moist….yet, I never have to swab out my own pipes mid smoke, and I never have to deal with gurgle.
Yes, smoking style and humidity are factors in what can make a pipe gurgle, but they’re not the only factors, and certainly not the biggest in my opinion.
It’s a known fact that tobacco has moisture in it, and that heating the tobacco up causes that moisture to come out, almost like a steam. The problem begins when that moisture finds things to collect on on it’s way out of the pipe. If it finds resistance or constriction or even rough edges, it will build up and roll back into the bottom of the bowl where it will cause gurgle.
So when you’re looking for a pipe, look for one that has an open airway. The air flow should more resemble that of drinking straw than that of a coffee stir straw.
Say “NO” to gurgle!
As a pipemaker, I don’t succumb to PAD (Pipe Acquisition Disorder) too often. If I see a pipe I just have to have, I typically try to make it myself. However, there comes a time when even a pipemaker needs to buy a pipe.
I think that one of the best ways you an show an artist respect and appreciation for their work, is to buy something from them, directly, and at full price. Hence, the need for my Rad PAD.
Rad Davis is a well known wonderful pipe maker. He’s been in the business for the last 10 years, and just happens to live only 25 minutes away from me! When I moved out here to Alabama, I wasn’t really making pipes yet. I had only fiddled around with one or two. When I found out there was a master pipemaker in the “neighborhood” I knew I simply had to see if he’d let me come visit his shop.
After getting completely settled in my new house I connected with Rad and asked if I could come see his shop. I figured that if anything, I might pick up a little on how pipes were made, and what tools I should. Rad very generously suggested that if I came over early, I could see him make a pipe from start to scratch. I was floored and ablaze with excitement to say the least. Here I had the rare opportunity to watch a master craftsman make an entire pipe.
Long story short, after about 5 hours of watching Rad perform what seemed like magical acts of pipe carving, I came out enlightened, and a bit dizzy trying to make sense of all the information I had just gathered. It was that day that I decided to sell my favorite BMW 740i and buy the same tools he had so that I could make pipes as he does.
After about a year of making pipes and several trips to Rad’s house it became time to show my appreciation for his help, kindness and friendship. I needed to buy one of his pipes. Not only did he make me exactly the pipe I wanted, I got to watch him make it from start to finish, just like my very first experience with him. It was a very special time for me indeed.
So, without further ado, here is my RAD PAD:
How would a Growley pipe hold up if a “Hun” were smoking it? Well, we will just have to wait and see.
Several weeks ago I was contacted by Darryl Quon. He wanted to know if I’d make a Devil’s Anse pipe for him. Seeing that I love to make that particular pipe, I gladly accepted.
As with with most of my customers, Darrel and I have exchanged several friendly email messages. He mentioned that he had been busy “On Set” all day and apologized for a late response to one of my messages. Not being able to restrain my curiosity, I asked him what he does on set.
It turns out that while Darrel is an extremely nice and pleasant person to talk to, he’s also a killer, kick butt, no nonsense, run around on fire and punch people in the throat stuntman and actor. He’s been in a variety of wonderful movies including one of my (and my kid’s) favorites, The Night At The Museum”, in which he was one of the fantastic Huns who was ready to tear Ben Stiller into pieces.
The Devil’s Anse pipe made it to Canada where his wonderful new owner will put it through it’s paces. If Darryl treats his pipes like he does his coworkers, then I probably should have ruggedized it…
First of all, I’d like to thank all of you who have entered my pipe give away by signing up for my Inform Letter. From here on out, you’ll be the first to know when a new Growley pipe becomes available.
There were 81 total entries. Each entry was assigned a number according to when they were received (from 1 to 81). To randomly pick the winner, I used www.Random.org which uses the randomness of atmospheric noise to truly pick randomly.
The WINNER, as chosen by Random.org, is #43.
The number 43 belongs to gXXXXXXy@gmail.com (the X’s have been used to protect the winner’s identity)
Congratulations gXXXXXXy@gmail.com! I will be contacting you for your shipping information.
Thanks again to all of you for your participation!
I’m sure this won’t be my last give away…
Hey all. This is your chance to own a Growley pipe for free. As a “Thank You” for taking an interest in my pipes, I’d like to give you a chance to WIN this pipe. All you have to do is sign up for the “Email Newsletter” which is less of a newsletter and more of an “inform letter” to let you know when a new Growley pipe that is available for purchase.
How to enter:
Just enter your Email address in the “Email Newsletter” box and hit submit. Your email address will coincide with a number on a simple Excel spreadsheet. Those numbers will be entered into a randomizer which will pick 1 number, the winner! The winner will be drawn on Friday, the 3rd of August.
Thanks again for your interest, and good luck!
Below is the prize pipe, a bent Brandy
The dimensions are as follows:
Length – 5.25″
Chamber Depth: 1.45″
Chamber Bore: .75″
A fun and tense part of my work is commission work. Recently I took on a Ramses commission for a customer. The Ramses design was originally designed by the great Bo Nordh. Bo was the original creator of the Ramses shape. This shape is very difficult for many reasons. Probably the most difficult for me is the drilling. The drilling angles are so steep that it’s very easy to drill wrong and either have the draught hole enter the chamber way too high, or have it end up being oblong making it too big.
I can easily spend an hour at this stage, fidgeting with angles, widths, measurements and so on just to make sure it’s perfect. As my grandfather always said, “Measure twice, cut once”. I think I measured this a dozen times, just to be sure. But in the end, it’s worth it. The drilling happened as planned, a nice size draught hole at the bottom center of the chamber. Here’s a pic of it drilled.
Now that it’s drilled it’s time to fit the stem. All of my stems are hand cut. This one will be a saddle stem created from ebonite. Shaping without a stem attached for this kind of pipe is typically counterproductive.
Ok, I have a snug fitting stem cut so it’s on to the part I love the most, the shaping! This is the second most difficult part of this particular pipe. All of it has to be done by hand and a Ramses has a number of curves, lines and facets, all of which have to pace nicely together.
The back side of this Ramses is curved almost like a surf board, while the bowl has a similar shape to a jet engine on a 747. The two have to come together as one piece. If placed right in the block, the grain will start from the back (surfboard) leaving a wonderful birds eye across the entire plain, and stretch all around the sides of the bowl (jet engine) finishing in a birds eye across the belly of the front. With the right block of wood, this can have a wonderful effect.
Before doing too much more work on the stummel, it’s time to get to work on that stem. Saddle stems finish this shape off nicely, but take a bit more work to open them up properly so that they smoke open and free of resistance. This is a process that can easily take me an hour to complete.
Rough cut of the stem…
After about an hour of sanding, staining and polishing, here’s the final product…