Italian Flag Harvesting Briar Wood
The Hunt for Calabrian Briar Wood ©

Vito & His Wife Maria   Briar Wood

In the first few days of 2007, I had the honor and pleasure to be the guest of the Posella family. The Posella's have been famous as first-class suppliers of Calabrian briar, not only in Italy, but at the international level, as well. During those days, I was given the opportunity to go into the woods with Vitaliano Posella, the son, to see how his harvester, Vito, goes about finding and extracting briar. Vito has been doing this job for over 60 years, and I was simply stunned by his, and his wife's, ability to spot a possible piece of briar from within endless trees and shrubs. Most of the time, that elusive piece of briar is tucked away from the eyes of intruders, often in extremely difficult-to-reach places. The hours we spent in the woods yielded a few small pieces of briar, out of which, with lots of luck and hard work, ONE PIPE may be made! The work is back-breaking and extremely dangerous, and if it weren't for Vito's love for the job, he would have simply given up the job many years ago. It is thanks to people such as Vito that we continue to see new briarwood pipes added to the market today.
During the adventure, I took numerous pictures, which I proudly share with you here. I didn't add comments since most of what is happening is self-explanatory. I just hope that this picture presentation helps raise the awareness of pipe smokers and collectors of the incredible devotion people, such as Vito, never fail to demonstrate. I personally believe that we owe them as much as we owe pipe makers.
To view the presentation, please click on the following link (running time of automated mode is approximately 3 minutes, 25 second):
Vito's Briar Hunt Presentation

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