From the Mosin-Nagant to the classic Lada, to the outside world Russians have a reputation for designing and building things of almost excessive solidity. ("Almost", that is, until you consider what they were intended to survive while remaining in working order.) Here, I can't can't help but ponder if Vladimir Grechukhin got it into his head to play on this theme, and apply it to a fine artisan good - namely this pipe. There's an underlying Japanese style to this shape in its mix of smooth Danish flow and line yet more organic sense of form, but over-top of that there has also been layered (and layered, and layered) a lot of extra substance. The result creates an unusual impression - an exceptionally, exceedingly robust design, yet one which still retains a graceful gesture and attractive balance. There's no skimping on the finishing touches, either; crisp sandblast, perfectly oriented grain, bold contrast stain, beautiful olivewood accent, and fine slip of a stem - all are present and accounted for.
- Eric N. Squires