- Jan 28, 2018
Forgive the previous long-winded responses.
To answer the question “how are these different from his other pipes?”
The only differences are that the bowl is shaped (by him, in his workshop) from a template. This allows for a high degree of consistency, but he’s using raw, unshaped blocks of briar to achieve this just like he would when making any other Former pipe. Mostly when he’s going through a batch of briar, like almost every other maker, the blocks are first sorted to size. They’re only “graded” (either literally or simply by determining if they’ll be rustic, sandblasted, or smooth) once they’ve been shaped.
The stems are high-quality acrylic preform stems that he will modify to his specs (they’re thin and rounded; very comfortable). So, the fact that they’re rusticated, and the fact that the stems are modified preform, account for the price differences between the little Apples and the rest of his work. Like I said, if he makes one of these and the grain is good, he’ll finish it smooth and charge much more than $500, but still less than a smooth with a hand-cut stem, or that’s larger in size, has better grain, etc.
Long winded response was informative. thanks. Appreciate the education. Thin and rounded acrylic stems aren't my preference but I understand what Former is trying to accomplish. I'm not sure if it is a fair analogy but kind of like buying a CLS class Mercedes as compared to an E class. Able to drive a Mercedes for around half the price.