April 1st – I received an important email from Peterson today announcing a new six-pipe set, The Skellig Collection, commemorating the spirituality, inclusivity and ecological awareness of the great saints of ancient Ireland:
Aidan – a horn shape meant to suggest Aidan’s encounter with the stag. The prototype looks much different than the recent B35, more of a true horn.
Brendan – a flowing three-quarters-bent shape reminiscent of Brendan’s coracle, pointed in front and back of bowl to resemble a ship, a bit like the Shaw Writer’s Collection, with “creases” fore and aft.
Brigit – an unusual four-panel full-bent rhodesian hybrid design inspired by St. Brigit’s Cross.
Columba – a swan-neck billiard, inspired by Columba’s meeting with the Loch Ness Monster in 565 A.D.
Kevin – a straight chimney, inspired by the round Towers of Ireland.
Skellig Michael – a bog oak rusticated three-quarter bent bell, inspired by the six corbelled-stone beehive cells of the 6th-century monastery that perch atop Skellig Michael Skellig, near where Luke Skywalker was seen recently in The Force Awakens.
The designs were a collaboration between the craftsmen and women in Sallynoggin and local Dublin craft potters and artists.
The most unusual feature of the set is Peterson’s return to genuine Irish bog oak (morta), not seen since the 1906 catalog. “Bog oak is very difficult to work with,” says factory manager Tony Whelan, Jr., “but we were lucky to find an Irish artisan who routinely works with bog oak to turn and rusticate the bowls for us, and we’re very pleased with the results.”
A second unusual feature is that all pipes will feature the graduated-bore P-Lip.
The Brigit will be a System, featuring the System reservoir. “The idea is that if it proves popular, it will eventually become part of the System line,” Whelan added.
All stems will feature the imbedded aluminum P logo.
The sterling bands will feature a triquetra, or Celtic Trinity knot, soldered on the band.
Sets will be numbered and laser-stamped S/001 through S/700 (all six pipes bearing the set number).
Box art features a photograph of the beehive huts on Skellig Michael, the tiny island and Puffin refuge off the coast of Ireland.
Retail is expected to be about $1200.
As Peterson has shown throughout its 150+ years, often the way forward is the way back. While management was reluctant (as always) to comment on who actually came up with the idea. Perhaps it has to do with the emerging ecumenical spirit washing over Ireland and the desire of the younger generation to find spiritual unity in a common and much older heritage predating the entrenched religious establishments.
don’t you laugh,
and don’t you smile,
send the gowk another mile
HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY!
For more information see Bridget Haggerty, Irish Culture and Customs, http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/AprilFools.html