About me

My name is Sasha, I live in Riga, Latvia, and I am a pipe maker. I craft tobacco smoking pipes from briar - a root of a tree, which grows around Mediterranean Sea.

I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia. I had finished 5 years of art school with honors, and then a physical and mathematical lyceum. When I was 17 years old, I had a choice in front of me what to do next: continue learning and become an artist or choose a technical profession.

I have chosen the second option and became a programmer. At first, I worked in a web design studio. Later, I moved up in ranks to become an administrator at a web-store. After acquiring all necessary traits, I managed to grow to be a web-programmer in IT-outsourcing Company.

After some time, I went to become a freelancer.

While working in my office as a freelancer, I would smoke cigars there. I’ve kept two humidors at all times. Both were full of Rocky Patel, Perdomo, CAO, and other cigars.

In 2010, I became interested in pipe smoking. My first pipes, were cheap, factory made in Italy. I was not overwhelmed by them. At some point, I almost abandoned the idea of pipe smoking. But, after receiving my first handmade pipe, as a gift from my wife, I noticed a huge difference between handmade and factory produced pipes.

Later, I became interested in pipe making. I really wanted to create a high quality, excellent engineered pipes, but at the same time, inexpensive. Importantly enough - this activity gave scope for a return to my passion for art, which I really missed.

Alexandr Bondarev

I’ve researched and found, enormous amount of information on the web about pipe making. I bought various materials, machines, and hand tools to craft pipes. It was very difficult at first, since I hadn't done anything similar in the past. I didn't even know the name of tools, which I had to purchase and use for my new craft.

In spring 2011, I made my first pipe. Not to say that it was technically perfect, but it was my first crafted pipe. Now, this pipe floats somewhere in the Ladoga Lake: it fell in water, while I was fishing in Karelia.

Since then, I’ve spent all my free time at the machines and files. This is a really interesting hobby.

A few months later, in autumn of 2011, I, as I thought, was ripe to show my works publicly. Now, I think, I probably hastened. I'm a little embarrassed for some of the pipes, which I crafted at the start, but it was a learning curve.

Soon after, I received my first orders. It was overwhelming. I sold my first pipes for $50. This price was high enough, to purchase additional materials. Then, I gained regular customers, who ordered again and again from me. My hobby became a little less expensive.

For a very long time, pipe making has been just my hobby, even while, I was still a programmer. I crafted pipes only in my spare time. The quality of my pipes grew, and so is the prices. In 2014, when there were more than a hundred pipes in my portfolio, I wasn’t sure who I wanted to be more; a programmer or pipe maker.

I still do programming, from time to time, since I have a few regular customers who come for my help.
But now, pipe making is my main activity.

There is still a “business plan” on my desktop computer from 2010, when I considered my production costs and prices. It looks funny now, since, I wasn’t able to predict correctly any parameters of my work. I was over optimistic in fetching a high profit in my first year as a pipe maker. Like any craft, pipe making requires a lot of time and investment. Only after 5 years, I can say, that this work brings as much money as my old programmer job.

Pipe making is really interesting craft. This is the job, I am happy to go to in the morning and sad to leave in the evening. Each finished pipe is a real joy and a new personal achievement for me.

My web programming skills, gave me an ability to sell my work online. I have my own website, where I sell my newly crafted pipes. Unlike most pipe makers, I don’t have to work with dealers, or anyone else. I am my own dealer.

About half of my pipes were bought by my regular clients. Some of them have more than ten pipes. By becoming my regular client, you will have a significant discount.

I appreciate all my clients: they are a source of my family well-being. Thanks to you, my children are able to go to a lovely private gardens, study painting and music, visit theatres and zoos, and have happy and carefree childhood.

My Pipes

$374 USD
Smooth Volcano
$429 USD
Smooth Blowfish
$243 USD
Rusticated Pot
pipe sold
Bent Brandy
pipe sold
Bark-finished Cherrywood
pipe sold
Bark-finished Poker
pipe sold
Freehand Egg
pipe sold
Smooth Billiard
pipe sold
Buddha Tomato
pipe sold
Sandblasted Canadian
pipe sold
Smooth Volcano
pipe sold
Sandblasted Billiard
Alexandr Bondarev

Sasha Bondarev Latvian pipemaker

I started making pipes in 2011, and now it's my only job. I make about 5-8 pipes per month, spending 2-3 working days on each one.

For my pipes I use Italian briar and German ebonite/acrylic rods. I pay special attention to pipe engineering: accurate drilling, fine stem fitting, confortable mouthpiece button, deep V-slot.

Every of my pipes gives a perfect smoke. Just try one of them, and I am sure, you will want to get the second soon.

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