Artisanal pipes are undoubtedly reflections of their maker's style and aesthetic sensibility, but I also like to think that they tell us something about the time and place in which they were made. So it’s easy for me to imagine Will Purdy shaping this sandblasted Brandy in his Rocky Mountain workshop. The rustic and simple beauty of the landscape somehow seems to have left its mark upon the pipe itself. I’m particularly taken by the way the ring grain radiates outward from what seems to be a point of impact on the right side of the bowl, covering that entire half of the briar in light, fine ripples. Beyond its visual appeal, the piece also shows Purdy’s near fanatical commitment to producing well-engineered pipes. When it first came to my desk, the pipe’s stem was upside down. As I rotated the stem into place, I was struck by the fact that the shank and stem were perfectly flush at all points no matter how I rotated it.