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RIVA Brushes

Varallo P. (NO) - ITALY




Handmade in Italy
© 2020 Riva



The heather is a shrub typical of the Mediterranean scrub.

Only about one third of the heather shrubs generate a rhizome that develops between the roots of the plant and that after 50/60 years of life becomes large enough to be harvested.
Once extracted, the log is stored with care in a humid and cool place to prevent damage while waiting to be cut into pieces of the required size.

After the manual cut, the sketches are boiled for about 12 hours. This process has the purpose of stabilizing the briar and expelling the tannin present in all the roots.
Subsequently, the natural seasoning takes place in protected environments. ​​Generally the briar is left to mature for at least 12 months.



also known as abonos and, especially amongst pipe smokers, as "Morta"

Bog-wood is created from the trunks of trees that have lain in bogs, and bog-like conditions such as lakes, river bottoms and swamps, for centuries and even millennia. Deprived of oxygen, the wood undergoes the process of fossilization. 

Water flow and depth play a special role in the creation of bog-wood.

Currents bind the minerals and iron in the water with tannins in the wood, naturally staining the wood in the process.

This centuries-long process, often termed "maturation," turns the wood from golden-brown to completely black, while increasing its hardness to such a level that it can only be carved with the use of specialty cutting tools. 

While the time necessary for the oak to transform into bog-wood varies, the "maturation" commonly lasts thousands of years. Due to the ecological reasons mentioned above, no two trunks can be found of the same color. 



Spalting occurs when certain types of fungi, called decay fungi, attack and discolor the wood of a tree. The most fascinating creations of mushrooms are dark, usually black lines that make each piece unique and particularly attractive.

Spalting represents the first stages of decay and generally causes a considerable softening of the affected wood, making it not structurally solid. For this reason we practice a vacuum stabilization process with thermosetting resins.



Alloy used since the Middle Ages today is composed of tin and antimony, with the addition of a small quantity of copper which gives it hardness and sometimes also silver. Pewter is especially used for artistic pottery and liturgical objects.


Thanks to its relatively low melting temperature, we combine pewter with briar (previously treated to resist thermal shock) by casting with a mechanical anchoring system that guarantees perfect and lasting assembly without resorting to glues.


It should be noted that the briar can deform slightly according to the humidity of the environment while the pewter does not. Consequently it is possible that there may be a minimum detachment between the pewter and the briar itself. However, this does not affect in any way the fixing of the two parts which, as mentioned, is not made by glues.



The "pewter / briar"  handles are finished by using the TRU-OIL method.


Typically used for finishing prestigious rifles and stringed musical instruments, it is a manual process that requires a long time and consists in the application of several dozen of very thin coats interspersed with increasingly fine sanding.


This system, in addition to the beautiful and natural aesthetic aspect, also guarantees excellent waterproofing and allows our customers, in the years to come, to be able to restore by themselves the original appearance in a very simple way.