In the scant sixty days since we presented the work of Daniel “Muki” Mustran to the Americas, the young, iconoclastic Croatian carver has already proven to be a game changer. His gleefully non-traditional interpretations and amazing use of exotic accessorizing materials have not only entranced collectors who, heretofore, considered their tastes as leaning towards the classical, but, more importantly, have attracted a new body of pipe men to the mid-to-high grade market, ones who had (previously) eschewed briars with a $300+ price tag.
Aside from being a superb smoking medium, olivewood is known for its bold, eye-catching grain, and Daniel makes the most of the second characteristic, with a compositionally generous bowl to serve as a canvas for the same. Not only delightfully paw-filling and enchantingly shaped, the opposition of a rounding to the fore with a quicker rise to the back will make the digits of either hand happier than a bug in a bakery. Muki couldn’t have executed a more complementary shank, both in terms of shape/transition, but look at the way the broad striations of the bowl have reduced to improbably tight straight grain. Accented with koto and satine, with have yet another winner from Daniel Mustran of ND Pipes.
--R. ‘Bear’ Graves