It often seems like the first thing those new to pipemaking do is learn the basics, then rush off to experiment as much as possible in creating freehands and variations that will be seen as just as new to the world of artisan pipes as they are. Ironically, Chris Asterou has leapt to collectors' attention (and ours as well) by concentrating on creating the very best classical designs he can. They are his central platform, as it were, the ground where he proves his skill and his attention to detail, gaining reputation for, trust in, and even admiration of his work, all of which just happens to benefit his dabblings in less traditional design as well.
Of course, I suppose I could have skipped all that preamble and just said, "Look at this pipe!" Simply put, it is fantastic. An elegant classic par excellence, a clean, perfected Liverpool form even the great English pipemakers of the past would have envied. And even though Chris has been pretty modest about it, dressing the briar in a dark, subtle contrast stain, the flame grain certainly isn't bad either.
- Eric N. Squires