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by Mark Irwin

 A few years ago I read a discussion of a lightweight specialty pipe made by a certain Irish pipe maker which one pipeman referred to it as “the ideal flake pipe.” Well, I’ve smoked flakes my whole life and it got me to wondering: could there be such a thing as the ideal flake pipe? The perfect flake smoking instrument, the ne plus ultra of kapnismological flake engineering? The first thing I did (of course) was save up to get a pipe exactly like the one this fellow was describing. I’m sure you can guess the outcome: disillusionment, disappointment, disenchantment in discovering that not only was this pipe not the ideal flake pipe—not my ideal flake pipe, anyway—but it didn’t perform nearly as well in that service as many of the pipes already in my regular rotation! Okay. So much for “ideal” flake pipes. Read more

Tagged:
Cavicchi |

by “Chas” Mundungus, w/ Luca di Piazza & Sensei Rainer Kockegey-Lorenz

Two of my favorite pipe-subjects are aesthetics and spirituality. On the latter, more later. But on the former—“the question of style,” as Sensei Fred Hanna and Richard Esserman write so convincingly about in The Perfect Smoke (169ff.)—where does the work of Claudio Cavicchi, one of my favorite Italian pipe-makers, fall? Using the Hanna/Esserman criteria, should Cavicchi be considered an “artisan,” an “artist” or a “master pipe maker”?*  Read more

Tagged:
Cavicchi |

by Luca di Piazza

Pictures from the Show Read more

by Mark Irwin

 I’m mad about chubbies. My analyst Doc Irwin says it’s because I was chubby as a kid. When everyone else was buying their shrink-to-fit Levi 501s, I was buying Expand-O-Matic Huskies With The Patented Double Knee at Sears & Roebuck. Even in grad school one of my best friends said, “You’re not really chubby—that’s just happy fat. Buddha tummy.” Yeah, right. Read more

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