Well I just completed my second pipe and feel that it is a great improvement over the first one, this being said there is still much room for improvement but I'm picking up new techniques each time. One side of the bowl has really nice flamed grain and the other lots of tight birds-eye. This pipe has a lucite stem where as on the first one I used vulcanite. Both stems can be worked fairly easily though the vulcanite is more forgiving. There is a slight flaw in the briar near the top edge of the bowl but I felt that its was not significant enough to deal with directly. Over all I am very pleased with this one and am ready to start the next.