Briar Pipe Finishes - Part 1 - Smooth - V01 - HERO

Briar Pipe Finishes, Part 1: Smooths


CW Hawes

Following its introduction as a pipe material in the middle 1800s, briar quickly became the dominant material for making pipes for the general pipe-smoking public.

Briar is durable, and with reasonable care, a briar pipe will serve generations of pipe smokers.

Another feature of briar is that, like any other wood, the grain can be exceedingly beautiful, which appeals to our senses and pleases us.

In this post, I’m looking at briar pipes with smooth finishes, which is, I think, the most common way to make a briar pipe.

In subsequent posts, we’ll look at sandblast and rusticated finishes where the pipe maker becomes, in essence, a wood carver.

The Grain’s the Thing

I think there are few things more beautiful than wood. The grain. With its pattern of light and dark lines that appeal to the eye. The inevitable variations provide an unending interest, as syncopation does to a piece of music.

A good piece of briar is good because of its grain. We’ve even developed an entire vocabulary to describe the grain patterns on a briar pipe. Flame, straight, bird’s eye, and cross-grain are just a few. And everyone has their favorite.

The fact that a pipe with beautiful, eye-catching grain is often priced higher than its sandblasted counterpart attests to our love of exquisite and unusual grain patterns.

My GBD Conquest Century, pictured below, is a beautiful pipe and a marvelous smoker.

Similar Posts