I became seriously involved in pipe-making after being taken "under the wing" by her uncle, Little Feather. (a 4th generation pipemaker) He was a master carver who was so good, it seemed to me that he could "put stone back on a pipe", if a mistake had been made. It seemed to me that he could do anything with a piece of Pipestone.
Little Feather & I spent day and night together. We would shoot pool or play cards at night, and when morning came, whoever got up first would go wake the other up, and we would start working on pipes again. We lived right next to one another. My wife, at this time, did almost all of the sanding, polishing, and shining up of the pipes. She also sanded and beaded all of the stems. I would cut the pipes out, do some of the shaping and Little Feather would do the "finer" points of shaping.
Little Feather was killed suddenly in a house fire, one night after we had been out shooting pool, in 1987.
Within a couple days, a man stopped over at our house, and asked if we could fill a pipe order that Little Feather was going to have done for him. We obliged him, and continued to make pipes together ever since. I had to learn a lot of things, just by recalling how Little Feather would do things. Even long after his death, there have been many times when, I feel he is right there helping.
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