"Celebrate good times, COME ON!" Yes, it takes one helluva special update to get me to quote a Kool & the Gang song, especially one that has been beaten to death by every wedding/birthday/bar mitzvah DJ since 1980, but today's announcement and special event has me forgetting every watered down drink and room-temp hors d'oeuvre that I have consumed to the tune.
At this very moment, 'we've got a party going on right here' at Low Country Pipe & Cigars; a pre-Richmond Show and celebration, where we find ourselves honored to unveil the vanguard of the Luciano Pipe revamp. Crafted from top-tier Mediterranean plateau briar, which was hand selected and seasoned by Luca di Piazza himself, the first four all-new series (Breakfast, Lunch, Snack and Dinner) feature elegant, deliriously elongated shapes, exquisite bamboo ferrules, as well as an aesthetic paradigm heretofore unseen from Italy. In addition. each of these new pipes comes with a designer zip-up pouch, organic cotton sleeve, and a technical paper about the pipe.
Accompanying the new Luciano introduction, Radice is doing some special unveiling of their own; their limited edition Christmas pipe for 2013! This year's yuletide offering is a generously sized straight apple, available in the 'Rind', 'Pure', 'Silk' and 'Clear' finish, and all sport a handsome band of antler on the mount, as well as a tamper crafted from the same with briar to match. This will be the last year that the Radice Christmas pipe will feature antler, so collect them while you can. As an extra special surprise, Luca has created a one-time set of the 2011-2013 Christmas pipes, using pipes that he reserved for the specific purpose. Also accompanying any Radice pipe you purchase, for a limited time, is a prettykickin tamper
I hope to see you all at our store show but, for those who cannot attend, all of these offerings (perhaps the three-pipe set not withstanding) and more will be available at the upcoming Richmond Pipe Show.
When I started here at Smokingpipes.com it was at the start of pipe show season. After a week on the job I was off to the Chicago pipe show. Well, five months later, we're getting close to closing out the show season with the West Coast Show fast approaching and the Richmond Show just over a week away. As we started preparing for Richmond, an opportunity arose to showcase some particularly unique pipes. The question was, when? Although pipe shows are special; pipe artisans and craftsmen coming together with pipe aficionados to be immersed in their hobby and passion, it occurred to us this showcase didn't have to be in Richmond; it could be an event that people across the country and world could take part in. With that, the idea of a Richmond Pre-Show was born. So, mark your calendar for the 9th of October and be the first to grab Radice Christmas pipes, as well as the all-new Luciano.
Luciano, a brand known for handsome, quality pipes as well as manageable prices, is undergoing an evolution of shape and design. We have the pleasure of sharing with you the first of these pipes. Each shape has undergone a shift towards the New Luciano aesthetic. All “New Luciano” will consist of four shapes, made of three-year-old seasoned Italian plateau briar. The addition of a long, narrow, eloquent bamboo shank, sets the new pipes apart from the traditional Italian pipes you may be accustomed to, however, I find them to have a truly attractive combination of shape, finish, accent, and presentation. Speaking of presentation, the New Luciano are accompanied by an attractive bag, as well as a data sheet unique to each pipe.
Let’s not forget Radice. We have the pleasure of launching this year’s Radice Christmas pipe. This attractive straight Apple with horn inlay comes in a number of classic Radice finishes and is accompanied by a horn and briar tamper in matching finish. We're not leaving it at that, though: with the launch of the Christmas pipe there will be a number of classic Radice pipes, and for the first 30 pipes sold during the event we will be throwing in a complimentary tamper.
So, whether you can stop by our storefront, Low Country Pipe and Cigar, or whether you'll be participating online, we hope you'll join us for the Richmond Pre-Show on October 9th to celebrate these beautiful new pipes, and get a great deal out of it in the process.
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.
Hours of Operation:
Our website is always open and you can place an order at any time. Phone/office hours are 9am-7pm US/Eastern (GMT -5:00) Monday-Friday and 10am-5pm US/Eastern (GMT -5:00) on Saturdays. Our Little River, SC showroom is open 10am-7pm US/Eastern (GMT -5:00) Monday-Sunday.
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