High Country: Aspen’s own Timberado is a peace pipe dream | AspenTimes.com

High Country: Aspen’s own Timberado is a peace pipe dream

Katie Shapiro

I've written about cannabis since recreational legalization first started to spread its wings in Colorado and one of the perks of the gig is getting to test the latest in pot product launches.

Jeff Hood first reached out to me five years ago about his new, modern line of peace pipes and I was immediately intrigued. Now, as the cannabis industry continues to grow with an explosion of boutique accessory businesses, I still have yet to see anything like a Timberado.

A longtime Aspen local, Hood's inspiration dates back to 16th-century New England with family roots in the Algonquin Indian tribe. Growing up in a third-generation colonial home in New Hampshire, a 12-year-old Hood discovered a Native American wood pipe in the attic's insulation in 1966. He carried it with him over the years, bringing it out on special occasions to share a smoke among friends, which he still does to this day.

The idea of Timberado as an actual business was born in 2011, when Hood set out to create handmade, custom peace pipes using the original as his first prototype. Measuring 23 inches long, its length lends to a natural cooling of the smoke from the bowl location to the mouthpiece. The sleek, lightweight design is comparable to a baton but in Timberado's case a smokeable one, made from natural wood and rare gemstones adorned with a metal bowl holder.

When I visited his in-home showroom, the rainbow of colors in Timberado's inventory blew me away. The wood: bocote, rosewood, zebrawood, maple, cocobolo, snake; the stones: turquoise, obsidian, jade, onyx, jasper, opal, carnelian; the metal: solid and stainless silver, natural and polished pewter, 14- and 24-karat gold. Pre-made pipes are available in a variety of combinations, but there's also a customization option using your choice of wood, stones and metal. For a bespoke order, Hood welcomes a phone call to walk you through the spiritual meanings of each gemstone and merits of the types of wood he uses. Peace pipes were, after all, created for medicinal healing and traditional ceremonies.

Impressive aesthetics aside, it's extremely well-constructed and effective—a result of the three years Hood put into design research, sourcing materials and testing prototypes. Traditional peace pipes were made solely of wood, which in today's smoking standards is a valid health concern. So Hood's solution was to line the interior with a glass tube pierced with a small hole, allowing the glass bowl's custom drip tip to rest atop it perfectly. The end piece is plugged with a rubber stopper, which is easily removable for those who prefer a carb. It hits smooth, is easy to clean and makes every session feel special.

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Officially launching at the Cannabis Cup in Denver in 2014, Timberado pipes have since been available online, at select downtown dispensaries and even at the Aspen Saturday Market in 2015 and 2016. Hood was then hit with a back injury followed by two surgeries, forcing him to take a hiatus. He's finally back on his feet and following a booth activation this summer at the Champs Trade Show (a premier counterculture B2B expo in Las Vegas), Hood has decided to shift his focus to direct-to-consumer sales. Starting in December, you can find Timberado at the weekend Aspen Winter Market, which will take over the Grey Lady patio for a second season.

Some might balk at the price, which starts at $390, but this is Aspen and cannabis enthusiasts are now investing more than ever on high-quality gear. The highest priced Timberado pipe retails for $3,300 and is made with snake wood, woolly mammoth ivory end pieces and an oversized opal inlay. With a Timberado, it's far from just a piece of paraphernalia … it's a piece of art.

Shop: 970-319-9700, timberado.com.

Katie Shapiro's own Timberado has been passed around the dinner table at many a gathering. She can be reached at katie@katieshapiromedia.com or followed on Twitter @kshapiromedia.

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