Smio Satou: Smooth Bent Brandy
As you might expect (and can plainly see in the photograph), this piece is struck with the very finest, brush stroked straight grain. The rim of the bowl and the bottom of the bowl pair to exhibit splendid, marbled birdseye. (Excellent grain is usually a matter of course for this pipe maker.) Indeed, there's a lot to love about a Satou pipe. In addition to being drop-dead gorgeous, they're always well balanced, superbly proportioned and remarkably engineered. He's just a detail oriented kind of guy. One of the things I love most about his work is the painstaking care Satou applies with his finish. The high-gloss, oil-slick lacquer he uses on his pipes is just awesome. It's so pristine that the pipe seems to scream 'DO NOT TOUCH'. That, of course, just makes me want to put my hands all over this thing.
-- Ted Swearingen