An Artisan's Dilemma
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29 November 2012

An Artisan's Dilemma
 Newsletter Introduction for Thursday, November 29, 2012

Life is full of choices, and it's up to us to decide what is best for us given various situations. I'll refrain from discussing moral topics or those involving struggles of necessity, but drift over to the side that all of us think about from time to time, and especially around this season: Stuff! It's no secret (even here) that I like good food; buying it, making it, dining out, or - most often - buying choice ingredients to make something at home or in the office for my friends and co-workers. In the end, you often get what you pay for. Making it right is the key, really. One could get a perfectly marbled rib-eye steak and ruin it in a hundred ways. Similarly, one could use the finest cloth, leather, briar, or anything else as a raw material, and muddle it up into a solid disaster. So, given the choice, many choose to buy something good as a luxury, as opposed to trying to make it themselves, but how does one measure worth? Not everything can last a lifetime, but a great many things - including pipes - can.

As an artisan, I'm one of those weirdos that sees something really cool and immediately wants to make it [yeah, this is true for food and pretty much anything that doesn't involve computers, gasoline, or a phone-book sized instruction manual]. When my wife first wanted a purse handbag for her birthday a few years ago, she sent me a link to a site that carried Marc Jacobs handbags. At the time (*please see weirdo), I suggested to her that I make one. Suffice to say that this was my first time trying to make a purse handbag, failure ensued. Fortunately, making some pipes to sell to Smokingpipes helped me buy her the one she originally wanted, and I must fully declare how impressed I was when it arrived. The leather is of fantastic quality and the details throughout the design proved its worth to me.

Only a few days ago, Sykes showed me the new leather bags from Italian artisan Claudio Albieri. Not only are they of superb quality materials and craftsmanship-wise, they're also just really smart designs that have clearly been well thought-out in terms of offering something that both looks great and is also very functional. How many pipe cases have you seen that will carry your laptop, too? Sykes has a blog going up really soon which goes more into detail, so I'll simply say that you've got to see these pieces. One thing I'll point out that these bags are all made by an artisan; not a factory. Just like great handmade pipes, you'll notice the extra care that goes into making them.

Tonight you can find not only the new bags from Claudio Albieri, but a fantastic variety of pipes to whet your appetite. Claudio Cavicchi, Maigurs Knets, Scott Klein each have especially impressive pieces going up, as well as always-popular Ashton pipes with staggering blasting details. L'Anatra, Randy Wiley, Winslow, Nording, Savinelli, Peterson, Brigham, and six-dozen estates combine to make another - always different - update from the folks here at Smokingpipes.

Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector









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