Tom Eltang may have some other, particular name for this shape, but to me it will always be the Upside-Down Wizard Hat. Don't get me wrong; it's a fine shape. I'm sure it's also a challenging one, both in terms of balancing out forms and lines, and when it comes to orienting and adjusting around the grain in a pleasing manner. Actually, I suspect that may be why Tom does it. He's known to be, as Adam has put it, "a pipe-making machine". Given his bizarre degree of skill and talent for turning out fine smoking instruments just right, I would imagine he might appreciate a shape that is liable give most other artisans a considerable amount of pause. As you can see from this dark-finished beauty's striking flame grain, it's well-centered birdseye atop and underneath the shank, and it's perfectly balanced asymmetry, even this shape, in the end, was no match for Tom Eltang.
- Eric N. Squires