So, every year I buy myself as well as my 2 best friends a nice Christmas present. We've always been big cigar smokers, but only 2 of us have ever been into pipe smoking. Finally, we got the 3rd friend into pipes as well. What I'm thinking about doing for the Christmas present this year is Having Mark Tinsky make a pipe for each of us. I've actually already been in talks w/ Mark and only 1 detail is left and I thought I'd ask you guys your opinions. So I am having 3 pipes made with the following characteristics...
Shape: Devil Anse
Finish: Sandblast in Dress Black
Stem Insert: This is where you guys come in!!!
Originally my thought was to do a small exotic wood stem insert on each pipe. The thought was to keep them in the darker wood family (snakewood, bocote, etc) for just a subtle distinction. On top of it I thought that each pipe would have a slightly different exotic wood insert to differentiate each pipe slightly. After looking through Mark's Gallery I noticed his use of Buffalo Horn, which because of how dark it is would be a very subtle "bling" even less than the dark wood. If I went this route all 3 would be done with Buffalo Horn. Mark added a final suggestion, which would to use mausr birch, which is a much lighter wood, if I wanted the insert to stand out the most. I think I'm leaning away from the light wood as i think I'm going for a more subtle insert. So the question is different dark exotic wood, dark exotic wood keeping all 3 the same, or go with the Buffalo Horn?
Here is an example of a pipe Mark has done in the past w/ buffalo horn. Obviously on the pipe in question it would be a much smaller insert as the pipe he is making is a fairly small pipe, but this is an idea of the material. Obviously, the wood would vary based on the type selected.