I've seen the way Tom Eltang handles his pipes; he man-handles them. Personally, I could be a lot better about caring for my own pipes, but this summer in Tom's workshop in Denmark when I saw him rapidly and repeatedly bang his briar against a glass ash tray I physically cringed, expecting either the pipe or the ash tray (or both) to crack. But Tom makes a pipe to smoke. Certainly he can (and often does) produce wonderful works of beauty, but just as often Tom makes a pipe that is less about physique and more about solid engineering and proper tobacco combustion. This rusticated Poker is just such an example. Tom professes that the Poker is the most ideal shape for smoking tobacco, as the the perfectly parallel and tubular design of the chamber and the flat bottom of the inside bowl makes for a uniform burn and a consistent flavor.
-- Ted Swearingen