Pre-Columbian Stone Effigy Pipes

 

 Below you will find a description of how an Adena-Hopewell style stone pipe was made. There are other examples of pipes made out of stone. Some are made out of marble which took a while to cut and drill. Please enjoy the pictures.

                                         Figure One

 This is the raw stone which began this pipe. After doing some pencil drawings on it it was almost made into a beaver. On the other side of the stone is a beaver drawn out in pencil. This pipe is of soapstone.

 

                                            Figure Two 

Thought the pipe was finished, but something said it just did not look right. Back to cutting on it.

 

                                                   Figure Three 

Did not like the stem type pipe so the river cane stem came out and added was a piece of black slate. Then the tail was cut from touching the back of the pipe's base. One thing which is NOT DONE is to glue the Bowl where the actual tobacco goes. If the glue gets hot it might cause some bad fumes and might make the tobacco taste bad. If the bowl breaks the pipe is discarded and not used. Get another piece of stone and begin again. All pipes are tested before anyone smokes out of one. It must pass this makers approval.

 

                                             Figure Four 

Since the bird looked mean it was decided to add the design of the water cougar on the black slate and make the pipe into a "Cosmic Battle" one.

 

                                               Figure Five 

You can see a white pearl looking round object for his eye, but it was too light.  

 

                                                     Figure Six 

The water cougar. This mythical animal fought with the Great Hawk (some say Falcon) and was defeated when the bird was joined by his mate.

 

                                                    Figure Seven 

The pipe just needed something to 'set it off' so the wings and tail were added. They are from white stone left over from another pipe. Metal pins were used to make them more secure. The metal pins were used due to being leery of the glue on the bowl, even though it is tiny amount on the outside. The pipe was tested rather thoroughly and smoked with a friend and it was fine.

 

                                              Figure Eight 

The black round stone eye really set it off and looked much better than the white one taken out.

 

                                               Figure Nine 

What started out as a simple bird pipe turned into a major constructed one. It really is not that hard to do, just take you time and look at the stone. If you think, "what if I did this or that", then your headed in the right direction. Keep one thought in mind and that is: "You can't put the stone back if you cut it too much, GO SLOW."

 

                                                  Figure Ten 

"Hey Mr. Cougar, Come out of there and fight" !!

                                      

 

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 The turtle is looking at the smoker. Some Hopewell/Adena style pipes had the animal looking at the smoker. 

                                        

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 This marble and steatite pipe came together rather nicely. A neighbor watched me drill the stem underwater as it is marble. She said if she did not watch it she would have never believed that someone could drill underwater and even through marble. It is called a "Feather" pipe as the designs look like feathers.

                                               

 

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This pipe stem is river cane but  added was a piece of otter fur and some lace to set it off. You can do the same. Elmer's wood-glue works well to hold the fur tightly. 

                                             

 

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Pre-Columbian style elbow pipes with river cane stems. Different types of soap stone.

              

                                               

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This is a sculptured simple elbow pipe. It is a nice one of Newfoundland stone.

                                          

 

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Steatite and marble pipe. The first Uktena pipe that has all the parts. Deer bone antlers, wings, and a quartz crystal in head. Before cutting the stone it was studied for hours and hours trying to decide exactly how it was going to look.

                                            

 

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  Sculptured black marble pipes. The men that helped me pick up the stone this was cut out of said they could not believe how heavy a small chunk of black marble was. It came from north Georgia. Took 2 hours under water to drill the bowl in the monitor pipe. The elbow pipe used to be my everyday pipe. It is retired now.

                                          

 

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Pre-Columbian sculptured stone bird effigy pipe. When the cutting of this stone began it was harder than thought. When the drilling of the bowl began it was realized the stone was marble.

                              

 

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 If you get a nice piece of soapstone that is a little hard take your time and carve it slowly. This platform pipe turned out to be an "Orca Pipe". Can you see the eye looking at you? Some people look at it and wonder how the stem hole was drilled since it is real curved and thin.

                                                    

 

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Adena-Hopewell style effigy pipe.  We had a corn snake a friend gave us. She would let you pick her up and handle her. My whole family liked her. When this stone was received from Oregon it just had to be carved into a snake.

                                  

 

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The Newfoundland stone was given to me and had a perfect green part with no real hard inclusions. This pipe came from that nice green area. One of my favorite pipes.

                                      

 

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Adena/Hopewell style effigy pipe. It is called a lightning bird pipe because of the whitish veins running in the stone. They look like lightning bolts.

                                        

 

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Sculptured one piece elbow stone pipe. It is a little harder than most soapstone.

                                 

 

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Two Bird effigy pipes cut out of the same stone. They were sculptured slightly different  so they would be like a male and female pair of falcons.

                                            

 

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Deer antler and stone pipe tampers. Pre-Columbian style rattlesnake designs.

 

                                     

We hope you have enjoyed looking at some of the pipes done over the years. Long time ago  someone say to me, "You carve pipes huh, out of soapstone."  Answered- yes and?  He said, "Go home and make one out of granite, no wait, out of marble, yea that ought to do it, you make one out of marble then you can call yourself a stone worker." He was just a trouble maker but, unknowingly he started me carving marble. It takes a while and is not easy but, they are not produced in mass for sale, but for their looks. I still don't say I am a stone worker, a shell carver, or a copper designer. Am just me and love to make things. Especially when people like them. That is my reward. We used to sell things for money and then decided to keep what was made for my pre-Columbian Mound display. After retiring my son and daughter are doing the shows. They tell me they will never sell the things done and consider them their gifts from their dad. So enjoy the 'stuff' that Grandfather makes and I am allowed to touch. Thank you for your time.