Is Rustication An Iconic Future Of Italian Pipes?

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Celius

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Oct 17, 2019
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When I am thinking of an iconic Italian pipe, I always imagine an rusticated one (like a Castello Searock or Ser Jacopo R1), similar to when I am thinking about an iconic English pipe, I imagine a smooth one (Dunhill bruyere for example).

Is there truth to it, or is it only me?
 

crawdad

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Jul 19, 2019
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I don’t think so IMHO. It may be that you are aesthetically drawn to rusticated pipes that happen to be made by Italian manufacturers. The above referenced Castello and Ser Jacopo brands you mention have as many smooth pipe models available as the rusticated ones. I think the styling and shape of the pipe itself give it a more influence by country than its texture, with the Danish and French jumping to my mind.

But I’m no expert. I’m just whiling away the time drinking coffee trying to wake up. I’ll let those with better mental fortitude in the AM tackle this one.
 

chasingembers

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Nov 12, 2014
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Rustication is the last thing I would think of as iconic. Usually used to cover a pit or lack of grain. Italy is good for varying traditional shapes with a more airy, sweeping design.

10767
 
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cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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The Italians do seem to have the best rustication, as in Savinelli's Corallo rustication of the 60's and 70's. Other area's rustication attempts just look "hacked" or "forced" to me.

All areas seem to have nice smooth pipes, but some may have better grain chasers than others. The classic Danes come to mind.

I'm not sure who would have the best blasts, except maybe US artisans.

I'm not sure about the use of the word "iconic." Maybe... when one is enmeshed in the hobby, it is harder to see what is iconic, from the inside out.
 

sasquatch

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Jul 16, 2012
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If we want to lump Italian pipe making into one broad category, neo-classical is probably the word to use. We see curved shapes that are curvier, heavy shanks that are heavier, exaggerated features like bowl size, sometimes a sly interpretation of a classic shape - the Castello 55 is a great example of this. That pipe is a straight pot, done neo-classical. In this, the finishes also got the same approach - bright orange highlights on very stripey pieces (pieces that the British factory pipes would have had special names/series for, the Italians knock out routinely). The rustication is again off the charts for texture and interest. Even the sandblasts often have smooth panels of a contrasting color, although the blasting itself is rarely exceptional. So to me, I get what the OP is saying, but I would take it further and say that what hits me about Dunhill and GBD and Barlings is how tight the shaping was, how dressed down and "sharp" the pipes looked, and on the Italian end, I see something exuberant and playful, a celebration of the pipe rather than an execution of it. Both are, of course, great.
 

cosmicfolklore

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I totally agree, and the Danes have down the more barbaric or more is thrown to chance in the shaping giving them more of a natural (it grew that way) look to them.

I wonder how much is intentional, and how much is just the personality traits of a culture... like the way the Italian Renaissance work is naturally so primary color based with elegant features, while the Germanic work is more heavy handed and dark.
 

sisyphus

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Nov 11, 2019
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when I think of iconic rustication, I think of Tracy Mincer first and foremost
10775

Sasieni second
10773
then Brakner
10774
and then the Italians.
In fairness, Castello and Savinelli have probably been doing rustication as far back as Sasieni.
 

cosmicfolklore

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is like seeing Charles Manson as iconic among serial killers.
Isn't he iconic? Wait, was he even technically a serial killer?
It's a last ditch effort to salvage a flawed piece of briar.
Well, with Those mentioned for the Italians, what I like is how they look so natural. Those pictured above don't have that natural quality that appeals to my eye. They look "forced." But, the cool thing about aesthetics is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 

hoosierpipeguy

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Jan 28, 2018
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Isn't he iconic? Wait, was he even technically a serial killer?

Well, with Those mentioned for the Italians, what I like is how they look so natural. Those pictured above don't have that natural quality that appeals to my eye. They look "forced." But, the cool thing about aesthetics is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

My point was, bring iconic among serial killers isn't a desirable position by most. Yes, he's probably better described as a mass murderer.
 

cosmicfolklore

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@hoosierpipeguy Well, that would also go for sandblasts, not being Grade A grain quality. But, I would take a blast or one of the Castello Searocks any day over a perfect flame grain pipe. Once again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Personally I don't want to be iconic for any kind of killer. puffy
 
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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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My primo Italian pipe -- no offense to the many fine Italian pipes on the rack -- is a Ser Jacopo, which is distinctly a blast. I have a number of smooth as well as rusticated Italian pipes, so no they are not stereotyped as rusticated. Likewise, I have several finishes on my English pipes.
 

hoosierpipeguy

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@hoosierpipeguy Well, that would also go for sandblasts, not being Grade A grain quality. But, I would take a blast or one of the Castello Searocks any day over a perfect flame grain pipe. Once again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Personally I don't want to be iconic for any kind of killer. puffy


Somewhat but not completely true with sandblasts. Carvers purchase Mimmo Briar and look for certain grain to make a blasted pipe planned that way from the outset. Like you, I prefer a sand blasted pipe in general anyway. My comments on this thread were not intended to show disdain for rustication, even though they sounded like it. Rather, they were in response to the iconic title which i didn't feel was at all accurate for a number of reasons.
 
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cosmicfolklore

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I think that some of these rustication by the Italians are sort of dependent on the briar as well. Those rustications that look like someone just hacked on the pipe or that look more like a man-made pattern with a rotary tool aren't very appealing. But, the Searock and Corallo looks more natural, like it grew that way, to my eye.
 
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hoosierpipeguy

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I think that some of these rustication by the Italians are sort of dependent on the briar as well. Those rustications that look like someone just hacked on the pipe or that look more like a man-made pattern with a rotary tool aren't very appealing. But, the Searock and Corallo looks more natural, like it grew that way, to my eye.

I would think some start out as smooths and move to rustication out of necessity. Some may actually start out with rustication in mind. Keep in mind the Italians are more apt to keep briar with exceptional grain smooth even with a few sand pits or other flaws. And still grade it very high. I've seen numerous Castello Collection Grade Great Lines with a number of sand pits/flaws.
 

mngslvs

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Jan 24, 2019
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The Italians are all over the map. This beholder usually skips over the blasts. I'll take a smooth finish, especially flame grain, any day. I just like to look at the wood. If I had to only purchase one nationality, it would be the Italians, hands down. Tremendous variety. My best smoking pipes are my Ser Jacopos and Don Carloses.

The British are boring to me, not that I have anything against classic shapes, just that they seem a bit rigid. The Danish are on the other end of the spectrum in my eye -- often just plain wacked out.
 

hoosierpipeguy

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How about uniquely Italian?;)

Perhaps. I suppose there are many more rusticated Italian pipes than brands from other countries. But it also seems like there are many more Italian brand pipes period than other countries, so perhaps it just seems that way.
 
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