About me

My name is Sasha, I live in Riga, Latvia, and I’m a pipe maker. I craft tobacco smoking pipes from briar – the root of a tree (Erica arborea) which grows around the Mediterranean Sea.

I have finished 5 years of art school with honors, and then graduated on a physics and mathematics 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 into becoming a web-programmer in an 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 high quality, excellently engineered pipes, but at the same time at affordable prices. 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 amounts 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.

During spring 2011, I made my first pipe. I hesitate to say it was technically perfect, but it was my first hand crafted pipe. Now, this pipe floats somewhere in the Ladoga Lake: it fell in the water while I was fishing in Karelia.

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

A few months later in autumn of 2011, I thought I was ripe to show my work publicly. Now I suppose I probably hastened while I'm a little embarrassed for some of those early pipes, but it was a learning curve.

Soon after, I received my first orders and 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 only crafted pipes in my spare time. The quality of my pipes grew, and so did the prices. In 2014 when there were more than a hundred pipes in my portfolio, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do: staying at programming or becoming a full time 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 could say that this work brings as much money as my old programmer job.

Pipe making is a 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 own more than ten of my pipes. By becoming my regular customer, you will receive 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 school, study painting and music, visit theatres and zoos, and enjoy a happy and carefree childhood.

My Pipes

Smooth Billiard
Smooth Billiard
Rusticated Canadian
Bamboo Pickaxe
Bamboo Apple
Buddha Tomato
Smooth Billiard
Bent Tomato
Bent Apple
Smooth Billiard
Alexandr Bondarev

Sasha Bondarev 🇱🇻 🇪🇺 Latvian pipe maker

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

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

Every single one of my pipes provides a perfect smoking experience. Just try one of them, and I’m sure you will want to get a second one soon.