As many of you know, I have a site devoted to my carving, Windjammer Pipes. I have decided that site should remain a showcase for my carving and any discussion of my processes or experiences in carving will remain here on my blog, which would seem logical. Any carver, whether the professional or hobbyist, knows that Briar can be unpredictable. It is a gorgeous wood, but unknown headaches can lie buried beneath. I have heard of carvers going through 3 or more pieces of wood just to complete a pipe because it was riddled with flaws or one particularly large monster was hiding just below the surface. Many will not do custom orders for this very reason. I have recently experienced this headache, but with a pleasant outcome.
We have all been there, tried a certain tobacco and it just didn’t quite do it for you. No matter how hard we tried, no matter how much we wanted it, we could not quite convince ourselves that it was a blend worthy of regular rotation. I had this experience with Peter Stokkebye Balkan Supreme. It has been touted as a very good comparison to the old Balkan Sobraine, and one of the better Balkan blends out there. I of course was sucked into the clever marketing and bought a 2 oz. sample of it from Mars Cigars. This blend had everything going for it, it was cheap at $20.25 a pound, it was a good cut, good moisture, burned great and just an all around use friendly blend. The problem was, it didn’t have the taste that I wanted, it was flat, boring and unremarkable. Yes, yes, I wrote about that part already, I suppose I should give the link. I digress… Continue reading