Mountainpipes ™ was founded in 1971
by Vincent and Jodi Castanon

Vince & Jodi
Vince and Jodi (Late '70's)


We have traveled the western states selling our finished crafts and craft supplies at Native American Powwows, mountain man rendezvous and craft shows. For the past 16 years we have been showing kids how to carve using soapstone. We quickly learned how to make carving kits that beginners could use their first try.

The most important part of our kits is the soapstone. The soapstone we use is from Oregon and California and is asbestos free. Soapstone was used by all the California tribes in their daily life and by many other tribes throughout the United States. Native Americans used soapstone for making smoking pipes because it does not crack when hot. Soapstone was also used for carvings, beads and amulets. Talc powder from soapstone is the same powder we use today. Soapstone can be heated red hot and used for cooking stones, and in fact Native Americans would cook directly on flat pieces placed on hot coals. A favorite use was heating soapstone and burying under a thin layer of dirt to warm ones bed at night. Other uses were for tools such as scrappers, arrow straighteners, and weights.

My carving kits are used at four California state Indian museums as teaching aids and for resale at the gift shops You may find our kits and products at Big Trees in Arnold, California, Grinding Rock State Park in Volcano, California, California State Indian Museum in Sacramento, and Yosemite National Park's Indian Museum. My soapstone carving kits are also used by the Los Angeles county department of education and the Indian educational programs. I have been attending the Indian Teachers Conferences for the past 4 years and have placed my kits in many California schools. I have also organized the craft program for 75 kids who take part in Indian Summer Camp held at Silverlake, California for the past 4 years.


© Copyright 2009 by
Vincent Castanon
All Rights Reserved