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As I said: I make briar pipes too. Now, there's a lot of emphasis on straight grains. I smoked pipe from my sixteen years on, and all those many years, I bought pipes that I could afford. Never heard, nor cared about straight grains. There are many people who won't like my opinion about it. But briar is a natural product. Where in nature does one find straight lines? Except for some theoretical physical concepts? Nature is wilder and more versatile than that. Perfectly straight grains are the freaks of nature. I might have straight grains among the pipes that I produce, but that's less important to me. Some might find this a form of blasphemy, so be it. My emphasis is on form and colour. And quality, of course.
[http://www.eliesfreehandpipes.com/index.php Elie's Website]