Il Cerchio Pipes

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Il Cerchio pipes (pronounced "EEL CHAIR-key-oh") are handmade in Italy by Angelo Del Prete, the Il Cerchio name meaning "The Circle" in Italian and referencing balance and consistency — aspects that Angelo imbues into every one of his artisan pipes. A Furniture and Decoration graduate, Angelo has long been fond of woodworking and art, and his extensive experience as a martial arts instructor has also influenced his pipe-making ethic: the learning of and building on techniques inherent to martial arts translating naturally to hand-crafting pipes alongside philosophical ideas of fluidity and elegance mixed with strength and energy.

Angelo's foray into the pipe and tobacco industry began in 2014 when he took over a brick-and-mortar tobacco shop. The shop lacked a strong selection of pipes, so Angelo dedicated himself to researching and procuring high-quality pipes to offer in-store, focusing solely on handcrafted pieces. In 2018, he purchased the requisite tools and started carving his own, with the handmade pipes available in his story providing inspiration as well as in-hand guidance.

Massimiliano Rimensi of Il Duca pipes was the first to welcome Angelo into his workshop for hands-on instruction, covering basic pipe-making processes and finishing techniques. In 2019, though, Angelo connected with Davide Iafisco in Bologna, and the two developed a mentorship, with Davide helping Angelo strengthen his aesthetic eye and the more intricate pipe-making methods that elevate handmade artisan work. Moreover, their similar stylistic preferences allowed for easy collaboration and encouraged Angelo to hone his shaping and improve his carving abilities overall.

As an artisan pipe maker, Angelo doesn't consider himself tied to the Italian neoclassic style, instead appreciating the elegance of Danish pipes, and like many, he's fond of iconic makers Bo Nordh, Tom Eltang, Former, Jess Chonowitsch, and Lars Ivarsson, as well as comparatively more recent talents like J. Alan, Geiger, and Chris Asteriou. They're all artisans he appreciates and whose work and techniques inspire him in his own personal pipe-making approach — a style that often prioritizes aesthetic balance through momentum and dynamism, elegance and character. From classic English shapes and old-school Danish designs to more evocative Freehands, Il Cerchio pipes are a testimony to Angelo's dedication to perfection: His goal isn't always to create a pipe that's utterly original; instead, he's a lover of technical proficiency and pleasing aesthetics, which for him often means pipes that display curving lines, slender proportions, and dynamic movement — all girded under a focus on compositional harmony and balance.

For his materials, Angelo uses briar from Mimmo Romeo and stems that he hand-cuts from German vulcanite, often pairing smooth pipes to traditional black mouthpieces to maintain a sense of classicism and elegance, and reserving more colorful examples for sandblasted pieces. His expertise with accents is impressive too, often decorating pipes with buffalo horn, musk ox horn, elk antler, bamboo, mammoth, boxwood, or silver.

A husband and father, Angelo enjoys the simple things in life, and he's a fan of exploring fine foods, continuing to practice martial arts, smoking cigars and pipe tobacco, and dedicating himself to pipe making. When he finds something he's passionate about, he invests himself fully into it, dedicated to growing in skill and confidence while still maintaining a sense of respect and humility.