Bagpipe maker sells instruments worldwide

Atheton had no interest in the instrument until he took a job making them.

"Back in 1995, I was offered an apprenticeship to work with another well known bagpipe maker, and at the time, I thought it was something really, really interesting," said Atherton. "So, I was there for about 12 years, and I thought I'd accomplished everything I could there. In 2007, I started my own company."

Based in Naperville, Atherton produces about 30 instruments a year.

"Since I started my own business, I've sold pipes in Italy, New Zealand, Australia, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, all over the world," the bag pipe maker.

One his customers is Doug Macrae of Texas, an eminent bagpipe teacher and player.

"Bagpipes are made from materials that come from every part of the world," Macrae said. "A portion of a tusk from a white whale costs a thousand dollars."

Among the other materials used are ebony, African black wood and legal ivory.

"I feel very, very fortunate to be able to do something and have people appreciate it so much.," Atherton said. " [To] know it will bring so much joy into peoples lives every day, and for people who listen to the pipes and know these things are going to be passed down in 100 years, I feel really blessed."

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