Pipe sets. They are rare, typically reserved for only the most spectacular pipes achievable. They come in all configurations, from two to 30 pipes or more, usually linked by a theme. They may be all the same shape or family of shapes, they may all be smooth or sandblasted, or the best examples in a given year of a particular technique, or fitted with identical stem material — the possibilities are endless. Most often, these sets are housed in sumptuous, hand-made display cases. What is changeless, however, is the motivation of the carver: Pipe sets are the perfect medium for illuminating his or her work and demonstrating the pinnacle of their abilities.
In this episode of All Pipes Considered, Sykes and Shane sit down to discuss Claudio Cavicchi's limited edition 2018 Bologna line, the Italian carver's first foray into pipe sets. As an unparalleled perfectionist, with a reputation for exacting standards and preposterously high expectations, especially from himself, Claudio Cavicchi required everything to be perfect for these pieces, including their corresponding leather-bound presentation cases, handcrafted by Cavicchi's longtime friend and master leatherworker, Claudio Albieri.
Any Cavicchi or Albieri fans out there? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.