Photos provided by BriarWorks Pipes
Pete immediately dove into his kit. When he showed up at the bus to head back on tour, Dan still had his kit and Pete had a finished pipe. He was hooked, and he continued to make pipes on his own until he met Jody Davis. Jody was also musician–and well known pipe-maker. From there he was introduced to another carver, Todd Johnson. Pete spent the next few years honing his carving skills in their shops, beginning his part-time career as a handmade-carver.
Fast forward a few years, and Pete is making thirty to forty handmade pipes a year. He has established himself as well-known pipe-maker in the collecting community. He had also gotten married and had two wonderful children, and he was tiring of the musician life with long hours on the road. In perfect timing, his friend Todd told him that he was looking to start a pipe factory, so Pete left the band. In 2013 they officially started BriarWorks, a U.S. pipe company.
This was a big deal in the pipe community, because there are many great handmade carvers in America, but there aren’t many remaining factories. Most famous American brands have either closed or moved overseas, leaving only BriarWorks to make quality briar pipes and Missouri Meerschaum to make quality corn cob pipes. Each of BriarWorks pipes are made with precision, and every piece is finished by one of the hand- made pipe makers with every detail meticulously inspected before it is released. These pipes are truly crafted to last years–and even decades–down the road.
Pete has always considered BriarWork a boutique factory with small batch production. They recently moved away from Nashville to a smaller town. In Columbia, Tennessee, they stand out as a unique company. Columbia has a deep history of Tobacco farming, and they were able to locate the perfect space in a building on Main Street in the historic town.
Last year BriarWorks opened their own pipe, cigar, and beer lounge in front of the factory so people from all over can come enjoy their products first hand. Although Pete left his music career behind, his creative mind is being put to great use through creating beautiful pipes that will be cherished for generations.