J. T. Cooke is obsessed with the technique of sandblasting, on a level of dedication that rivals that of Bruce Weaver. It's his religion, and anything going against that is heresy. He has dedicated the last 30 years of his life experimenting to find the best possible route that will produce the best possible sandblast. His latest technique involves turning his pipes on the lathe, putting on a dummy stem and then running them through a curing process. This removes what residual tar, oils and sap is still in the wood, leaching impurities out, while also drying. One of the benefits of going through this curing process is that it flattens the taste of the wood, giving the smoker the taste of tobacco over the briar.
This sandblasted Cauldron, a shape we rarely see enough of, has an overall design pretty much in line, proportionally, with an Italian Urn (basically an Apple with a flaring rim). Compact as the pipe is curvy, it practically melts into one's hand, with a masterfully done sandblast (as expected), starting rather well-defined toward the rim (with no discernible beginning ripple) choppily breaking up at the base in pockmarked birdseye. It actually looks so unique and unlike the way an ordinary sandblast naturally occurs, Eric doubts if there wasn't some other rustication process involved. For a man of this much skill and dogmatic devotion to the art of the blast, I, however, have no problem taking it on faith.