After some discussion, it was decided that we wanted to make, or have made, another limited edition run of pipes exclusive to Smokingpipes.com, the only contingency being that we wanted to see produced a significantly larger quantity of pipes than we have in the past.
This year we were decided on designing something for Luciano to make, so I set out to blueprint a pipe that would fit their visual style and manufacturing capabilities. We wanted to see something that wasn't a Billiard, Bulldog, Apple, or Pot - forms Luciano does quite well, mind you. Further, the pipe had to be able to be reproduced primarily by a copying machine, which roughs out the bowl, and it also had to look equally nice in smooth, sandblasted, and rusticated textures. After sketching out some ideas and sharing them with Sykes, Ted, and Eric, we gravitated toward this inverted Bell shape.
The tobacco chamber on this piece is quite generous, yet the overall design is more of a compact, chubby, and delightful shape. The beading on the top of the bowl divides the shape between an interior beveled rim that tops the piece with interesting facets while fluidly pinching the body of the bowl. A short shank echoes this rim slightly by softly repeating the bell flare. The face of the shank is slightly countersunk, which hides the junction of the acrylic and briar. This detail looks especially nice from the smoker’s perspective.
After talking with Sykes and Luca about the design, it was agreed that a physical model would be more beneficial to the manufacturing process than a simple drawing. So I made one. My model was not carved from briar, but from a very dense, pink foam called RenShape. This material is used in many industrial design applications by model makers because it’s as hard as wood yet has no grain pattern or hidden flaws. Since many designers use this for physical prototypes, I knew it would be the perfect material for such a project. When completed, we shipped off the model to Italy where Luca arranged for the machining and production of the design.
The pictures below show some progress in manufacturing. We were all very happy to see how a machine turned out the design, and were interested in all of the extra lathe and hand work that went into final stages. When they arrived, we were floored! Our hats go off to Luca and crew for their efforts.
Each pipe is stamped "Luciano Hand Finished in Italy, [number]/50" and bears the Smokingpipes.com logo.
These pipes will be available starting today, February 6th, in the afternoon in the Luciano section.