George Boyadjiev has started to make pipes since 2004. After starting to smoke pipes at about his 16, collecting pipes all the time, he has realized that there is an option to buy pre-bored blocks from Mark Tinsky and this was his start. Pre-bored block, moulded stem and some files, sandpaper and knives. About seven years later, he has my little workshop equipped as well as possible and much more knowledge about pipes and pipemaking in my head. For him the pipemaking is the way to express his craftsmanship, to satisfy his curiosity regarding design and function, materials differences, etc., and maybe at first place the pleasure to communicate with the pipe community worldwide. All these things provide him with the good feeling to be connected, to share and participate in some kind of friendly competition working with his own hands and expressing his own vision for the pipemaking, forms etc.
There is no rules for pipemaking. He mean no rules like “this has to be done that way” or “this is not the way you have to do the thing.” No. If he feels he has to drill by hand - he drills by hand; if he feel the particular pipe should be drilled on a lathe - he drills it on the lathe or prior shaping, etc. In that moment, when he starts making things like someone telling met hey should be done, in that moment he looses the control over the shape and what he feels is the way he has to work, the music sounds great in his ears, and the wood is responsive in his hands telling him what it wants to be. There is no way to make a mistake when he feels the shape and form is in his mind.
He has started with the good feel that he can do things right. Next he has realized that it is not so easy. Anyhow, he has decided to learn himself. As far as there is not other good option for him he has learned from internet, forums, pictures and especially from his own mistakes.
He is working with best briar he can buy from different sources. Lately and preferably he is using Italian sources for his briar purchases, but not only and limited. For example, he is often using briar from Greek mils and especially giant blocks. He is sorting the blocks very carefully and keep some special blocks for special pipes and projects, e.g. the Twins, the Pumpkin, creation of the twins. His briar is aged for at least 6 months in his workshop depending of the source.
For the mouthpieces he is using German Ebonite rods, occasionally Acrylic rods and Cumberland. He is not using any pre-made/moulded mouthpieces in his pipes, as far as he does not like them, also he does not like the material used for such mouthpieces. Almost every time he uses Delrin or Teflon rods for the mortises, because of the qualities of these materials to avoid sticking of the tenon in the mortise hole. HeI likes thin mouthpieces, therefore he mades them thin and comfortable.
Preferably, he shapes before drilling the pipe. In many occasions this is the better way to avoid any problematic parts in the briar block, cracks etc. Following the grain, the briar always dictates the shape. Sometimes, it do not wants to be a pipe, sometimes it says clearly what the shape will be.
The final quality and detailed work are the first goals in his production. He mades about 50+ pipes per year.