Todd Johnson is, perhaps, the most influential American pipe maker of the modern era. This title is earned, not just from his mastery of pipe carving, but his influence on the entire zeitgeist of the American and Chinese schools of pipe design.
A trained classicist and Yale graduate with a Masters of Art, Todd approached pipe design differently than other American carvers. After receiving some initial instruction from Trevor Talbert, Todd made the pilgrimage to Denmark to learn from Danish Masters Tom Eltang and Lars Ivarsson, a practice almost unheard of at the time. From them, Todd learned the intricacies of Danish design and execution, such as shaping the pipe first before drilling, a practice which has become almost standard among high grade pipe makers today. Todd was also influenced by the organic Japanese school of design by pipe makers like Hiroyuki Tokutomi and Keiichi Gotoh.
Todd’s mastery of technique, keen eye for design, and introduction of often emulated original shapes is enough for him to earn his place in the pipe maker's hall of fame, but his influence reaches far beyond his own work. Todd has been a teacher and mentor to many successful modern day pipe makers: Abe Herbaugh, Adam Davidson, Adam Remington, Brad Pohlmann, Bruce Weaver, Grant Batson, Jared Coles, Jonas Rosengren, Pete Prevost, Sam Adebayo, Yeti (Micah Cryder) and others. It’s arguable that the “Danish” way of making a pipe is now the “Johnson” way, and that method continues to reverberate through the modern art of pipe making.
When you invest in a Todd Johnson pipe, you’re not just purchasing a well made piece of art, you own a little bit of pipe making history.