Sandblast or Rustication?

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cigrmaster

Lifer
May 26, 2012
20,249
57,291
66
Sarasota Florida
Briar Lee, I think carvers have their own original systems as to what they will carve smooth or blasted. Take JT Cooke for example. He produces probably 98% blasted pipes as that is what his customers want. Rad Davis blasted almost all his pipes. Same with Brian Ruthenberg, Bruce Weaver and others. They felt at a certain price point their pipes sold quickly( in Cookes case 3-5 minutes and his pipe sells). Rad would sell his blasted pipe within a day, same with Weaver, Talbert and other American carvers.

Pipes that sell for 300-450 sell a hell of a lot faster than 1000.00 plus pipes. When selling themselves the carver gets every dime and he can keep his prices reasonable. If I were in the pipe selling business, I would have a great website to sell my pipes and I would promote on FaceBook and Etsy and see how I did. Now granted there are a bunch of crap on both Face Bok and Etsy but there is also a bunch of crap on places like SP and places like it.
 
But carving or rustication on a pipe is because the briar isn’t good enough to be smooth finished.

Am I right?
I think there’s some right in that statement and some wrong.
For some pipe companies that cranks out hundreds of stummels, yes. They probably toss the ones that wouldn’t make good smooths into a box to get blasted or rusticated, the blast maybe costing a little more than just rusticated.

But for a higher end pipe company and artisans, blasted pipes or further processed pipes can take days longer to make, driving up the cost of the pipe. And, many people seek out these types of pipes and are willing to pay way more for aesthetics as well as how cool they smoke with more surface area to disperse the heat.

so, yes and no. Not everything comes back to Briar Lees or the stars.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,842
13,990
Humansville Missouri
I think there’s some right in that statement and some wrong.
For some pipe companies that cranks out hundreds of stummels, yes. They probably toss the ones that wouldn’t make good smooths into a box to get blasted or rusticated, the blast maybe costing a little more than just rusticated.

But for a higher end pipe company and artisans, blasted pipes or further processed pipes can take days longer to make, driving up the cost of the pipe. And, many people seek out these types of pipes and are willing to pay way more for aesthetics as well as how cool they smoke with more surface area to disperse the heat.

so, yes and no. Not everything comes back to Briar Lees or the stars.
If there ever was a sandblast Lee (or sub brand) I’ve not seen it yet.

Late Lee pipes had some light carving.

Somebody posted a rusticated Lee here, but it was a One Star.

A sandblasted pipe is a matter of choice by the carver to make a blast.

Carving and rustication, are for Po’ folks.

 
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jewman22

Lifer
Apr 2, 2021
1,110
10,952
Ontario Canada
Depends on the pipe, I prefer a good Rustication, but there are some pretty freakin nice blasts out there. Some so deep they could pass as rustication to the untrained eye.
I love the Rubio blasts, but a wee bit out of my price range.
 
Jan 28, 2018
13,389
143,547
67
Sarasota, FL
I'm obviously a fan of sandblasts. Rustication is mostly what a carver does to salvage a pipe out of a flawed piece of briar. With that said, there are many nice looking rusticated pipes that smoke great. Castello Sea Rocks are a good example.
 
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romaso

Lifer
Dec 29, 2010
1,840
7,063
Pacific NW
I like rusticated, especially for outdoor pipes. Easy to hold onto when cold or wet.
I like the old style Peterson rustics, like the Emerald rustic. I've got some old System rustics too (mainly 307s), great for travel.
NOT fond of the new 'pine cone' type Peterson rustics.
 
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jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,329
28,533
Carmel Valley, CA
In this order: Great sandblast; great rustication; good sandblast; weak—but not pathetic— sandblast; good rustication; Quaints; bad sandblast; partial sandblast; partial rustication.

The latter two turn my stomach.
 

Merton

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 8, 2020
976
2,582
Boston, Massachusetts
Love great sandblasts with beautiful ring brain cascading around the bowl. From my perspective no smooth pipe even comes close to that kind of beauty. Also like castello (sea rock) and Radice (rind) rustication.
 
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DanWil84

Lifer
Mar 8, 2021
1,691
12,650
40
The Netherlands (Europe)
A sandblast I like somehow on almost every pipe in every price range, where a rustication on a "cheaper" pipe is off-putting for me. Like mentioned most "lower grade" pipea look more like a pineapple to me on the pictures when rusticared. Rustication for me is becoming nicer in higher end italian pipes like Castello and Radice.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,329
28,533
Carmel Valley, CA
The list I posted last night is much better comprehended in a list format! [Duh on me.]

I've thought a bit about this, and this is the order I like from a lot to abhorrence. (And it leaves out smooths, which I also love.)

great sandblast;

great rustication; - Sea Rock for example

good sandblast;

weak—but not pathetic— sandblast;

good rustication;

Quaints;

bad sandblast;

partial sandblast;

partial rustication.

 

pipingfool

Can't Leave
Sep 29, 2016
369
1,477
Seattle, WA
I love sandblasted pipes and a good portion of my collection is dedicated to sandblasts. I like some rusticated finishes, but I'm pretty picky about the ones I do like. I love Castello's Sea Rock finish as well as Radice's Rind finish.

I also love the Corallo di Mare finish that Savinelli used to do. If I recall, it is a sandblast/rusticated hybrid type of natural finish. If I remember correctly, there was only one person in the factory that knew how to do this finish, and once he was gone, then they were unable to recreate it the same way. I have two and they are great smokers.

But a natural sandblast that patinas and colors over time is my absolute favorite!
 
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cigrmaster

Lifer
May 26, 2012
20,249
57,291
66
Sarasota Florida
Bria Lee, please don't take this personally but I think all of your Lee pipes are pretty freaking ugly. So far there is not one Lee pipe that I would ever consider buying. I would also never buy a pipe with a stinger. I honestly don't understand your fascination with that line of pipes. Show me a Lee pipe that looks as good as the following pipes.
Jack Howell

Larrysson

Rad Davis

Bruce Weaver

Rad Davis


This is just a few of my good looking blasts.