Pipe and finishing: smooth pipes

The arborea erika briar pipes may present surface finishing of various kinds. The possibilities are almost endless, and over the years there have been many experiments by artisans. They have also collaborated with each other or with artists from different disciplines from pipemaking.

In short, as well as design, also finishing decisively characterizes a pipe. According to the experience of many smokers this is done not only on the aesthetic and economical level, but also on the purely functional level.

The most obvious difference of finishing of a pipe is between smooth and “rough”. The smooth pipes are presented as natural (usually polished, typically with wax) or painted (with different techniques that provide a very varied yield). The “rough”, however, as rusticated or sandblasted, in turn are left natural colour or painted.

Smooth pipes are the noblest and, in general, the most expensive in the production of each manufacturer.
A pipe is left smooth when the wood is sufficiently good as a whole and when it does not show defects (knots, signs, points blacks in excessive number, etc.) evident or numerous. For example, some black spot, caused by the remains of small roots infiltrating in the log, it is almost inevitable, but too many can compromise the aesthetics of a smooth pipe.

Then, depending on the degree of beauty of the wood, the producer chooses whether to leave the pipe natural, merely polishing it, or to paint it in order to let the obvious quality of the wood hiding small defects.
Obviously, a painted pipe is not hiding some kind of defect, simply its wood may submit imperfections that, with the natural darkening of the smoke pipe, can be turned into unsightly stains in light wood. Instead, if the wood is very beautiful or plain, with no defects, the natural darkening resulting from repeated smoke will highlight the best design and, most of all, the straight grain, making the pipe, with time, more and more beautiful and personal.
In any case, not necessarily the coating is an indication of a wood with defects: there are also producers painting the pipe, rather than to cover any small of the briar imperfections, to exalt immediately the design of the timber, especially when dealing with straight grain or with a bird’s eye exceptionally smooth.
Finally, there are coating techniques, such as the golden contrast typical of the Danish school, which constitute a true form of artistic finishing.

From a functional standpoint, it doesn’t mean that a pipe with an aesthetically beautiful wood smokes better than a sandblasted or rusticated pipe. Many smokers claim that a straight grain pipe confers immediately a particularly sweet taste.

See our selection of smooth pipes: https://www.briarandfire.com/categoria-prodotto/smooth-pipes/

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