I’ll admit that I had to Google “Koto” and “Padauk,” the accents that Mustran has used to adorn this partially rusticated Freehand. Without seeing the pipe or my search engine results, I would have guessed that “Padauk” was an Asian noodle dish one might order at a trendy restaurant called “Koto.” My research suggests, however, that Koto is actually a glossy, light yellow wood taken from a West African tree of the same name, while Padauk is a highly durable, red wood found in Africa and Asia. While I haven’t encountered these exotic woods on a pipe before, they certainly make a striking visual contribution to this piece.
And it’s a piece that’s already packing a punch. Mustran has confessed that he doesn’t have much interest in classic shapes, preferring a more free-form, visually challenging style. That aesthetic tendency definitely comes through in this complex piece with its various lines and curves. Complexity aside, the piece is quite comfortable in hand.