Orton Pipes are the works Brian Orton, an artisan pipe maker from southern Oregon. Despite a minimalist approach in the workshop, Orton crafts imaginative and intricate freehand pipes that have a dark and whimsical originality.
Looking to entertain a more affordable alternative to cigars, Orton began as many pipe smokers do—with a simple corn cob. Appreciation for the hobby set in and in looking to move into briar pipes, Orton found a significant appreciation for Erik Nording Freehands—an unsurprising fondness for a pipe maker-to-be who would also come to embrace a signature and artistic style.
One evening some three years into pipe smoking, Orton looked down at his Nording. In need of some sort of distraction from a trying time, he determined he should try his hand at pipe making. He had some woodworking experience, but pipe making clicked like nothing else.
Gothicism and fantasy collide in the eccentric aesthetic of Orton Pipes. Along with their fascinating shapes, these pipes are distinguished by distinct rustications.
Hand carved with a Dremel and other tools, Orton often captures patterns and textures of nature. An especially noteworthy finish that gets attention is his tree rustication. A mixed relief finish wonderfully captures the likeness of bark with mossy accents. A slight reimaging of this design instead evokes the fractured terrain of a volcanic landscape, red magma filling the chasms in the splitting earth.
Other designs can’t be compared in such familiar imagery, they simply have that Orton distinction. These pipes are an experience to smoke as much as they are to behold.