From a strict "Aesthetics 101" point of view, this famous Tom Eltang signature is a delightful contradiction. The shape is rakish, polished, and urbane. If this shape were a gent at a cocktail party, you would get the gut feeling that your date would be thinking "Why can't he dress like that. Why can't I find someone that witty?". Thankfully, it's a pipe, so we can move any neurosis in that area elsewhere. The rustication, however, bristles with a startling edge and relief. Sure the pattern has more than its fair share of elan, but there is an undeniable wildness about it. And yet it pairs beautifully. I guess that's one more reason that Tom is one of the most highly sought carvers in the world.
--R. 'Bear' Graves