In the beginning, there was France. Then England, and Italy — then sometime later Denmark, followed about a generation later by Japan. Then suddenly things were sprouting up in Russia and various points of Eastern Europe, then Greece and China. Thus goes the (very) abbreviated history of briar pipes. Early on, the most recognized names tended to be factory marques, as was to be expected by their sheer volume of output, and thus, commonality. In the decades following Denmark first hitting the scene, however, things changed a little as independent artisans and small artisanal workshops began gaining greater and wider notice.
As it turns out we were all born when we were born, and that means Gustavo got to hear of Tom and Chris and Konstantinos, and everyone got to look at images of everyone else's pipes, which led to Gustavo visiting and learning all he could from the aforementioned trio — visiting Tom in 2013, and Chris and Konstantinos just this past fall. As it happened, Dennis Mann paid a visit to Chris while Gustavo was still there as well, so he got to see Gustavo's work the old-fashioned way: by being physically present in the same place as it.
One thing led to another, and now the long and short of it is that Gustavo's Martelo pipes are now physically here, just a few feet away from me. How they got here is that Dennis liked what he saw, and made sure we got to see them too. Since we agreed with Dennis that Gustavo had learned how to make one smart-looking and well-engineered hand-made pipe, all that was left to do was make sure you got to see what he could do, too. And so, starting today, we're doing just that, as Gustavo Cunha joins Tom, Chris, and Konstantos as an artisan whose work we're proud to present to you on Smokingpipes.