Smio Satou: Smooth Bent Brandy with Tsuishu
I, alone on the smokingpipes.com staff, do not find myself naturally attracted to the smaller pipe, but I am utterly captivated by this diminutive jewel from Smio Satou. To digress a bit, Lars Ivarsson once said that a great pipe should always have a shape that makes your hand curl around it, to cuddle it as if it were a hamster. I could (literally) ramble off fifty attributes that I normally associate with the creations of Master Smio Satou, but "shapes that you would want to cuddle like a hamster" would not be one of them. until this pipe. A harmonious combination of angel hair and flame grain wraps the bowl and meets with an exquisite crescent moon rim. That concavity is mirrored, to perfection, in the arc of the bit and that bit contains a Tsuisyu inlay, a process that takes extremely thin layers of differing lacquers (urushi), stacks them and then cuts across the grain. Tsuisyu is so labor intensive that it has almost disappeared altogether, but nonetheless appears in this Satou brandy. Would I own a small pipe? Hell, it's all I can do to not steal this one!