David Huber Pipes

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David Huber came to pipe making through his love for pipe smoking. An avid collector and connoisseur since 2006, Huber had long admired the artistry and aesthetic aspects of handmade pipes. Such an appreciation developed the inspiration to craft his own work.

While some pipe makers enter the industry via other woodworking avenues, Huber's formal background was in sound design for live theater productions, and he lacked easy access to standard woodworking equipment. In 2010, Huber purchased several briar blocks, some pre-form stems, a rasp, and a file and spent the next two years slowly and methodically making a pipe by hand. For many, such an arduous experience would deter any further progress, but for Huber, it incited a desire to improve and excel.

In 2012, he purchased a lathe, hauling it up a flight of stairs to his Chicago apartment and outfitting his first workshop. The following two years saw Huber expand his tooling skill sets and craftsmanship acumen. He moved to Durham, NC, in 2014 and used that opportunity to pursue a new career: making handmade pipes full-time.

In the time since, Huber has visited and studied under some of the world's most respected and talented artisan pipe makers, learning from them and applying their teachings into his own work. In 2018, he spent time with Jeff Gracik of J. Alan pipes, and shortly thereafter Huber stayed in Denmark for five weeks, visiting and learning from such carvers as Joao Reis, Hans "Former" Nielsen, Tom Eltang, and Nanna Ivarsson. The following year, Huber returned at Former's invitation to deepen his learning. During that trip, he visited Nanna a second time and also spent time in Jess Chonowitsch's workshop.

From hand-whittling a pipe in his kitchen without any prior craftsmanship experience, to traveling across the world to learn from some of history's greatest artisan pipe makers, Huber's pipe-making career is an unexpected narrative and a testament to his devotion to the craft and innate desire to improve and grow as an artist. In his own words, he's "forever a student of pipes."

His work often draws on the design principles championed by iconic Danish and Japanese pipe makers, and Huber consistently pushes himself to explore new aesthetic avenues, fueled by a love for creating and a passion for pipes. All of his pipes are handmade from Italian or Grecian briar, his stems entirely hand-cut, and his most superlative pieces earn his prestigious Bull grade, which debuted at the West Coast Pipe Show 2019 when Huber won the award for Best Pipe in Show.