La Biota Smooth Pickaxe Handmade Briar Pipe, Cumberland Stem, Italy


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A graduate of Italy’s prestigious Academia della Pipa, Michele Sottocasa has been making pipes for over a decade under the la Biota name. Prior to becoming a pipe-maker, Sottocasa trained and worked as a designer and art director, and la Biota pipes continue this drive towards a distinct aesthetic vision. The name, ‘la Biota,’ originally derives from ecology, and symbolizes the deep connection between humans and nature – a connection well represented by the hand-made tobacco pipe.

This pipe from la Biota has something of a fireman’s ax side profile to it, right down to the sharp ridge running from the front of the rim to the base of the bowl. Of course, there’s no blade here – just a wide rim textured with briar plateau. It’s a great shape, one accented with a ring of red African padouk wood and a comfortable cumberland stem. As with most la Biota pipes, this one is wonderfully lightweight, making it an easy clencher, but the design is also perfectly ergonomic for holding onto, too.

All la Biota pipes are made by hand by Michele Sottocasa in his workshop in the mountainous Northern region of Italy. Sottocasa prefers the wood lathe over the metal lathe traditionally used by pipe-makers, which he uses to painstakingly hand-shape each la Biota bowl, and hand-cut each la Biota stem. As Sottocasa strives to make each la Biota pipe unique and does not like to repeat shapes and design choices he has made in the past, every la Biota pipe is one of a kind – once it is gone, it is gone forever.


Length: 4.5″

Bowl Width: 18.9mm

Bowl Depth: 1.7″

Weight: 1.5oz / 43g

Additional information

Weight 15 oz
Condition New


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