Radice: Vulcanite Mouthpiece (E)
Luigi "Gigi" Radice began making pipes in 1960 for Castello before leaving in 1968 to co-found Caminetto. In 1980, he founded Radice pipes and has been a cornerstone for shaping and craftsmanship ever since. Along with Gianluca and Marzio (his sons) in Cucciago, Italy, they produce between 1,200 and 1,500 pipes annually.
This brand's shaping is, of course, Italian. After all, it was Luigi who pioneered many of what we would today consider to be classics. Innovative designs (like the twin-bore stems which were recently replaced with the more traditional single-hole stems), new rusticating and carving styles, and oil curing helped to place the brand where it is today. Many of their shapes end up smooth, but they also produce some wonderful sandblasts (Silk Cut), shallow-rusticated pieces (Rind), and more ruggedly-carved Underwood pipes that can sometimes be accented with briar, horn, or silver.