There is a lot of careful work. There is engineering and art. And there is briar. I build pipes along similar lines to the specifications laid out by Rick Newcombe in his article “Your Pipe Should Have and Open Draw”. Namely, largish airways (5/32″ or 11/64″) through the stummel, tapering in the stem. I cut and file a very deep slot. The overriding idea in pipe construction is laminar flow from bowl to button, offering a minimum of condensation and a maximum of flavor.
Making really good pipes is always a priority, and in a sense, mastering making a pipe that is really pleasant for the user was more important to me than being the best sandblaster, or having the shiniest finish in the industry. Making good pipes was enough. It’s hard enough, and the product is desirable enough. So you’ll see a lot of dressed-down shades of brown and black here, old-school looks for the most part.
I don’t want to be stodgy about it though, so here and there as the mood strikes there will be pipes that are “fun” for lack of a better word. I must have bought that rod of camouflage colored material for a reason…
Whatever the aesthetic, there’s no compromise on drilling, airway construction, or material perfection.
Now, I do not want to wax etherial here, but briar is pretty important. Bad briar makes bad pipes, and it can’t be rescued. Luckily, we live in a sort of golden age, where we have all kinds of choice for supply, and even a pipsqueak like me can talk directly to the briar cutters and get incredible stuff. And that’s what you get if you buy a pipe from me. You get the best that I can find, the best that I can do with it.