Though he's a young man who's only quite recently taken up pipemaking, Grant Batson already has many years of experience in woodworking, learning the art from his father as a boy, and having run his own successful business making artisan-grade acoustic guitars. Even so, it's a surprise to see the quality he's turning out after a mere year or two of shaping briar. This beautiful Blowfish, for example, displays its own individual variation and embellishment (notably in the treatment of the raised ridges that flow gracefully from shank to rim). This shows that Gratson isn't just shaping by wrote, while the beauty of execution in these personal flourishes speaks of a steady and confidant hand - not to mention a very well-developed eye for design.
- Eric N. Squires