Having set a new standard for blasting by inventing and building a singular device for it from the ground up, and having created the most indestructible (and, arguably, the most beautiful) accessorizing material by using native Russian nuts, moss and grasses as polymerizing agents, master Roman Kovalev of Doctor’s Pipes has now focused his creative laser on his “Ergonomic Study” pipes; forms which tickle the imagination and coax flights of fancy, but are as easy to handle and smoke as a bent Brandy or Rhodesian. The absolute show-stopper now on your screen is part of that series, as well as the single most “visited” pipe by employees that we have had in months.
Titled simply as a “Fish”, Doc has created a new aquatic fighter, one that in my (and that of anyone who has handled it) opinion, not only exudes more combative spirit than the Blowfish, but does so with the flash and poised style of a champion matador. It only took Eric and me about five seconds to arrive at the only logical title Betta (a.k.a. Siamese fighting fish). Brilliant use of implied space and asymmetry form the foundation of this naturally inspired wonder, with elements such as an impeccable placement of plateau and deft carving at the rear of the mount adding just the right amount of subtle adornment. With such an impressive foundation and enrichment in place, a grand, finishing flourish is called for, and (Voila!), a magnificently flaring tail, replete with liquid, natural curls and acute sense of implied movement appears! In order for a masterpiece to be a “smoker” rather than a “shower”, a pipe must complement the hand, impart such a degree of comfort that one is reluctant to set it down. The first picture is as far as you need to explore in order to appreciate Doc’s ergonomic work; the thumb not only slides behind the bowl with delicious ease, the anterior of the reverse-curl mount contributes additional both additional room as well as a greater latitude of thumb placement. When a sculpture of this caliber “looks this grand and is a treat for the hand”, something very special has been born.
--R. ‘Bear’ Graves