In the heart of Missoula, Micah Yeti Cryder is handcrafting pipes in his workshop, one at a time, detail by detail. His passion for woodworking has birthed The Yeti Pipe Co., garnering the attention of admirers & customers worldwide. Micah is quick to admit that the intricacy of his creations has taken countless hours of refining but it’s easy to see, as I watch Micah craft a pipe in real time, that he is currently creating some of the best pipes you can find. The end result is undeniably beautiful and unique.
“At the Mediterranean mill, the briar is cut into rough blocks, graded, and boiled for 12+ hours to remove all the tannins and resins from the wood. The initial cutting, boiling and drying process is essential to a high quality pipe. Once the wood arrives in Micah’s shop it is then dried for an additional 12-24 months before it is carved into a pipe.”
“I began making pipes in December of 2010. My brother and I worked on it together, as a Christmas present for my dad. All in all that first pipe wasn’t very good, but at least it got me interested in exploring further. After my initial experience, pipe-making quickly became a hobby for me. In the early days, I joined the pipe makers’ forum, which is a wonderful community of beginner, amateur and professional pipe-makers. I received a lot of critique and guidance from constantly posting my work on the forum, and my passion for pipes grew out of that.”
By the end of the summer in 2013, I had made around forty pipes total. Pipe-maker/ tobacco store owner Premal Chheda in Columbus, OH had seen my entry to the North American pipe carving contest, and he thought it looked good. He contacted me and asked if I would be interested in selling him some pipes for retail. In what was probably my best decision to date(though I didn’t know it at the time), I agreed and sold him four pipes. He gave me more in depth feedback on those first four pipes than I had ever thought would be possible. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot from it. Over the next eight months, I spent a lot of time receiving critique from Premal, and working hard to hone in my technical skills.
It was around the time when I really began to grasp what made a great pipe, that I realized all the ways in which my own work didn’t measure up. Ever since then, I have been seized with a relentless drive for perfection in my work.
“Treat Each Pipe As An Original Creation, Never Before Seen, And Never To Be Repeated. Just Like The Owners Of The Pipes Themselves.”