Pipemaker Roman Kovalev calls this "Buddha bamboo", and while I'm not yet at this time able to say whether it originates with a particular species, particular cutting, or both, I can say that it is an apt name for the stuff. It's stout, smooth, and gently rounded, and the allusion to common depictions of Buddhas (and various other important figures) as a bit hefty, is simply intuitive. It's fitting in other ways as well: the depiction of various august figures as rather plump is tied in with cultural symbolism, representing both a content spirit and potency. Doctor Kovalev is definitely a potent fellow, having a laundry list of big accomplishments under his belt, and as far as his pipemaking goes, well, I can't deny the feeling of contentment I'm experiencing in handling this pipe. The playful proportions, the eager gesture, the unique, detailed, naturalistic sandblast technique employed, and the contrast supplied by the fat, smooth, finely-grained bamboo (possessing "bristle" pattern not unlike that of horn) altogether leave me with an impression that this is a work of art, and love, as much a finely-engineered smoking instrument.
- Eric N. Squires