|12 June 2000|
Maurizio Tombari: Le Nuvole
On the Wednesday before today, I received an extremely carefully wrapped package from Italy, from Maurizio. As I began to unwrap the package, Sue left the room, so I asked, "Didn't you want to see the pipes?" She replied that she'd be back long before I had the package open.
Five minutes and several layers of air bubble wrapping later, Sue was not only right but back, patiently waiting for me to finish. And at last I got to the heart of the matter: two corrugated cardboard box sleeves with the Le Nuvole label on each.
The label is white lettering over a blue logo over orange. The logo is a cloud, as from the name "Le Nuvole" itself. One could either think of the cloud in terms of the variety of shapes a cloud can assume, the pleasant shape of a tobacco puff, or the lightness of one of Maurizio's pipes.
My contest pipe was sitting in a suede pipe sleeve, and I took it out, and was immediately impressed by Maurizio's ability to match design to wood, fantasy to reality. The picture below is a composite of my design and Maurizio's pipe.
In some ways, the above picture doesn't do Maurizio's pipe justice, because the grain of the briar is much, much tighter than the resolution shown in a jpeg. A small portion of an enlargement from a scan of the bowl shows how the grain is incredibly tight - around the entire pipe.
The only direction that Maurizio went differently from the design is that I had an inlay, whereas he (and his wife Stefania) felt the inlay didn't work in the actual pipe, that a groove looked better. Since computer design doesn't necessarily reflect real-world conditions, I went with his recommendation, which looks beautiful.
After I won the contest, I also ordered a second pipe, from a habit of mine to have two pipes from any one pipemaker, to get a better idea of the worksmanship. So below is a second pipe from Maurizio.
Size for size, Maurizio's pipes are the lightest I've tried; there is a certain elfin quality to them. As I generally give my pipes a name somewhere along the line, the one above is Elfdrum, due to the markings around the bowl. Thus far it is a joy and is breaking in exceedingly easily. Quite a treat!
Maurizio Tombari: Le Nuvole |