Dennis Furey, Sr., maker of hand crafted Catlinite & Steatite Pipes & Studio Buttons

 

I have been a pipe maker for over 25 years and a Studio button maker recognized by the National Button Society since 2008.  I was published in the National Button Society Bulletin, July 2008, Vol. 67, No. 5 in an article by Jocelyn Howells, titled “Pipestone (Catlinite)”.  Each piece of the pipe and buttons have my published mark.  I also have a link under the Oklahoma Button Society web page.  My wife, Mary, and I  retired and are now established residents of the great state of Texas.

 

Many years ago I became interested in carving pipestone.  I handmade my pipes for only certain family members and friends.  Each was designed with the individual person in mind.  It took me six months plus to complete one pipe with stem.  These pipes are spiritually based and I made many over the years.  When Mary’s sister in Spirit passed away at age 55, she requested that her pipe not be destroyed as is tradition.  I lived in Greenfield Center, NY, and donated the pipe to The Hdakinna Education Center  in Greenfield Center, N.Y.  Joseph Bruchac* is Abenaki and an internationally known author and storyteller.

 

My pipes are individually handcrafted and no two are alike.  They are made with traditional primitive tools, with the exception of the bowl and stem holes, which I drill out with modern steel bits.  All inlay work is by hand and unique to each pipe, using mother of pearl, abalone, turquoise, etc.  The wooden stems are hand cut, hand carved, and both pieces of the pipe are finished by hand rubbing with beeswax.  They bear my mark.

 

I treat each pipe with the Respect it deserves according to Native American tradition.  NONE of my pipes have been Blessed or made Sacred, as that would be up to the individual who will finally own it.  My wife and I are both members of the National Button Society, the Oklahoma Button Society and the Texas State Button Society.  My wife has been a button collector for over fifteen years, thus the making of buttons.  I use my small pieces left over from pipe making for buttons.  My earlier buttons were made in New York, then in Oklahoma, and now in my own studio in Texas.

My wife is part Mohawk but is not enrolled as a citizen in any federally recognized Tribe.  We believe in Mother Earth and respect her as my wife’s family did.  We follow Native American beliefs.

Furey’s signature mark.

*Joseph Bruchac is a writer of books relating to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a particular focus on northeastern Native American and Anglo-American lives and folklore. He has published poetry, novels, and short stories.   He has been award the Spur Award for Best Juvenile Fiction and Americana Book Awards.

Dennis Furey’s Studio