In his field, Mimmo Romeo is a master, indeed an artist, as well as a friend. Mimmo is no ordinary briar wood cutter, as we realized when we first met him several years ago.
His task is not easy. He has to assess the briar root for quality and size before cutting, by examining it and then starting to cut away, in order to produce ebouchon and plateau blocks, and see which blocks are suitable for his clients. Then there are the other stages in the process that could appear easy but in fact are essential for a perfect pipe – boiling and then seasoning of the blocks.
This work calls for passion, and Mimmo Romeo has inherited so much from his father. It also calls for extensive knowledge of the briar root in order to understand its secrets and its particular type of craftsmanship, even distinguishing between the special features of briar roots coming from different areas of production. Not only that, but this craft calls for a desire to meet people and compare various types of experience. And here we can say that Mimmo is extremely well-known amongst pipe makers in the world and experts in particular, whether they invite him to their workshops or visit him at his briar factory in Taggia, in the coastal region of Liguria.
Only in this way, when the relationship made up of mutual respect and friendship between briar cutter and pipe maker is so close, can a good pipe be fashioned. And what more could we wish if our briar cutter even eats briar wood for breakfast?