Michael Parks's shaping is solid; he can do robust, heavy designs, and light, trim ones with equal aplomb, and the same goes for varying from conservative design to sleek, unquestionably modern forms. But what he's best known for, and what helped him really "break out" and gain wider attention, is his sandblasting. Deep and craggy, his techniques produce a texture as pronounced as a heavy rustication, yet of course with the natural, organic element that's missing from a rusticated finish, courtesy of using the briar's own grain to create it. Certain old Dunhills, and some new Ashtons, feature similarly heavy sandblasts, but here once again we find a tell-tale difference that make's Michael's method special; he manages to coax all that extra texture out of the briar's grain without chewing the shape up in the process. The lines remain defined, and just where they were supposed to be, and the form doesn't lose any of its symmetry.
- Eric N. Squires