All S.E.THILE pipes are made by hand to exacting standards. Many pipes are assigned a series, and until pipe #210, August 2012, they were assigned a grade in descending order, A, B, C, and D. Starting with pipe #211, September 2012, pipes no longer receive a grade designation. In the future, very exceptional and rare pipes may receive a special grade.
A series indicates a certain cohesive style between its pipes.
The Etude Series
Etude is French for "study," and, in music, is a short composition designed to provide practice. Etude series pipes are those I've crafted while in pursuit of a new shape, or as a unique presentation of a classic shape. Often, an Etude series pipe will refine itself into a member of another series -- but its Etude counterpart remains as evidence of the creation process. The Etude series is marked by its unique pipes in new or transitional shapes, styles, and finishes. In the musical world, an etude will sometimes transcend its role as an instrument of study, and become something more, a lasting creation of fine art.
The Opus Series
Having completed phase I of my study in the art of pipemaking I embarked on the Opus series. These are catalog shapes, or pipe families I'll be making with some regularity.
So far we have Opus 1, the PokerBash (now retired for the time being), and Opus 2, variations on the theme of Bulldogs and Rhodesians.
The Freehand series are pipes where the wood is given the primary role in dictating the shape and they are shaped first and drilled after the majority of the shape has taken form.