High Country: Meet the mysterious maker behind Duh Bone peace pipes
Handcrafted in a home garage, the smokeable antler art is available locally at High Q.
Despite the many advances in cannabis accouterments in the post-legalization era, I’m rarely wowed when it comes to pipes — the lion’s share are still fashioned from glass in classic spoon, steamroller or “Sherlock” shapes. But on a recent run up to High Q on the Snowmass Mall, I noticed an array of antlers lining the display cases.
Known as “Duh Bone,” the collection ranges from one-hitters to larger statement pieces — each handcrafted by Corey (who requested his last name be omitted) in Grand Junction. It’s purely a passion project for the artist, who during a recent phone interview, admitted to smoking his first joint at age 7 in Telluride. Now in his 50s, he medicates with cannabis daily to help relieve pain from longtime physical health problems.
The third-generation Colorado native added, “I haven’t missed a day (of smoking weed) in probably 30 years.”
At 18, Corey made his first bone bowl while working behind a carnival booth and continued tinkering with his process in the decades that followed, gifting his creations to friends and family. It was only four years ago that he thought he could start selling them in dispensaries, so he set out to pitch his pipes.
One of his first stops was High Q in Silt, where he immediately sold a couple of pieces. High Q now carries Duh Bone across all four of its locations. In Carbondale, High Q has a multi-point caribou antler pipe hanging on one of the walls that is so beloved, it’s not for sale.
“Each time Corey comes by, I am excited to see what new inventive, artistic design he has created,” shared Reid Ewart, High Q director of operations. “Corey may be under the radar, but is a gem in dispensaries around the (Roaring Fork) Valley and Western Slope. His pieces have made it to the far ends of the (United) States and the globe by now.”
Each Duh Bone is a one-of-a- kind work of art, which Corey crafts in his home workshop using nearly all reclaimed materials: antlers are purchased not hunted, and shed not shot; feathers come from old fly tying kits; and adornments like leather, gemstones, beads and fur are found at antique stores and garage sales.
“I try to stay out of the craft store as much as possible,” Corey explained. “The only thing I use that isn’t reclaimed is the (interior stainless or brass) tube for the stem and that I can usually find from a scrapyard.”
The price point for a prized pipe like a Duh Bone is surprisingly affordable. Corey revealed that he often uses precious stones that are worth more than the pipe itself, likening shopping for one to a “treasure hunt.”
The smallest pipes start at $14 with more intricate creations priced at $82 and topping out around $200.
Corey doesn’t care about making money from Duh Bone (and never has), he simply loves the process of discovering found objects, making useful art and staying busy in his golden years. He also doesn’t care about notoriety and “doesn’t do any of that computer stuff” (Duh Bone operates without a website or social media accounts).
“When I’m out in the garage,” he ended with a laugh. “It keeps my wife from hitting me with the frying pan most days.”
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