Artisan Showcase –– Jason Mouton
Jason Mouton describes briar as a “beautiful yet tricky” wood to work with –– at least comparatively. That’s because Mouton has experience in woodworking and the art of using a lathe. In fact, Mouton is a relative newcomer to the world of pipes. He’s only been making pipes for four years (thanks partly to the encouragement he received from the YouTube Pipe Community). However, he has already begun to craft some of the most striking and exciting pipes on the market.
Mouton, who lives in Gueydan, Louisiana, doesn’t label himself with a particular style or school of pipe-making. Instead, he accepts the challenge of making various pipe styles. “I enjoy making all styles with only the exception of theme-oriented pipes. I figure it’s best to leave those to guys who enjoy doing it, and there are quite a few that are amazing at it,” he said.
Mouton says that he’s been influenced by so many different pipe makers that it’s difficult to focus on one or two in particular. Similarly, he loves and respects all shapes and styles –– provided that they are well done and that he enjoys making them. “One of the recent pipes that I really enjoyed was paneled billiard with fossilized walrus,” he said.
When discussing the pipe-making process, Mouton first emphasized the importance of maintaining well-tuned equipment for such a delicate material as briar. “Briar can be your best friend and one cut later be your worst enemy,” he said. As far as how long it takes him to complete a pipe, Mouton says that it depends on the style, shape, finish, and any unique adornments. It could take him as little as six –– or as many as 20 –– hours to complete a single pipe project.
In his free time, Mouton enjoys hunting and fishing in addition to oil painting. A pipe-smoker, he typically prefers blends in the Virginia and VaPer categories. Mouton is passionate not just about pipes but also about the pipe community. “I would just say I love making pipes,” he said. “I still feel like I have never made a pipe for a customer, only friends.”
You can find examples of his work here: https://www.instagram.com/j.mouton_pipes/?next=/