Charl Goussard makes pipes in South Africa, just outside of Cape Town where he resides with his wife and daughter. During the day, Charl runs a small business in the glass industry. With a background in agriculture and project management, he has always been enthralled with the beauty of briar. An uncle and a roommate in college were formative figures, exposing the wonders of pipe smoking and eventually his love for the briar led him to try his hand at crafting excellent smoking pieces.
Charl has been eager to improve his craft since 2007 when, short of cash, he began making pipes out of whatever wood he could lay his hands on, including wild olive, guava wood, and African black-wood. Back then his workshop consisted of a bench grinder and a drill press. Charl pirated stems off of locally sourced basket pipes. He describes his early work as huge bowls with thin stems! A voracious reader of fiction, Charl has been studying pipe related forums for any relevant information for a pipe maker. His work is clearly influenced by the Danish school, with an emphasis for the more flowing proportions. He credits Tom Eltang, and especially Poul Rasmussen, for much of his inspiration. The slim, elegant, and flowing shapes that improved the old, run-of-the-mill factory pipes are some of his favorite to recreate.
The work we see from him today is outstanding by any measure. Pipe "internals" are his top priority and his craft continues to improve towards a fluid, elegant, and organic feel. Favoring briar for most bowls, Charl has experience working with amber, acrylic, protea nitidia (also known as "waboom" in Afrikaans), horn, and bamboo. He prefers smoking Billiards, Canadians, and Pots.
Charl Goussard can be described as absurdly gracious and grounded, which makes him a delight to talk with, should you get the chance to meet him. He is a Virginia/Perique fan who, like so many other talented artists, can't help but make pipes because "It makes me so happy!"