With very few (and invariably very expensive) exceptions, a finished briar will contain a few surface imperfections... a "just is" thing. Bruto Sordini adamantly refuses to use putty and had more than a few customers muse that, while they loved a smooth finish, for one reason or another, noticing a (say) sand pit drove them nuts. What to do... what to do? Bruto's answer was to create the Notturno
stain: a finish which would let the beauty of a grain shine through, while making minor surface imperfections virtually impossible to detect. The boardroom rich stain and sterling at the mount make for an impressive looking pipe, and the capacious bowl is capable of holding a deliciously long smoke.
--R. 'Bear' Graves