Gorgeous. That's the word that comes to mind foremost when I've the opportunity to handle the work of pipe maker Paolo Becker. He's got his own sense of sleek style to be sure, and he's certainly my favorite Italian pipe carver. And this sandblasted Tomato of morta? Well... gorgeous. While the form of the bowl does resemble the tart fruit from which its name derives, it's not necessarily the first association I make; the shape is too perfectly round and precise in composition. From the bowl we find Becker's signature shank transition, a move that starts with a pinch and quickly flares wide, up and out, that ends in this instance with a rather slender, gently arched cumberland stem. This pipe has definitely got that Paolo Becker look. I just call it gorgeous.
-- Ted Swearingen