I don't think anyone could rightly claim that Michal Novak is afraid to try things a little different from the norm - his entire signature style is wildly distinct. Nonetheless, I'll admit I was still surprised when I first saw this particular creation, which he's rendered not in briar, but in pale, smooth olivewood. Now granted, olivewood has been seeing more acceptance in recent years, with several well-known artisans begining to dabble in it fairly regularly, but it's still far from common. Especially so in a smooth finish; Andrea and Massimo of L'Anatra are the only ones I can think of who treat a smooth polish as the default way of working in this unique material. Curiously enough, Michal also appears to have either put this pipe's wood through an extra curing process, or acquired material that had already been put through one, as the chamber does not carry the usually pretty obvious olive scent.
- Eric N. Squires