"Tightly curling and dramatically flourishing" were the first words to come to mind when I saw this Ichi Kitahara. Upon actually picking it up, however, it became apparent the shaping wasn't all flash and flare; as much drama as this number packs into quite a compact volume, it's actually perfectly natural in hand as well. Evidently Ichi put plenty of thoughtfulness into the curves forms of both the transition/shank, and their counterpoint, the pronounced, kite-shield shaped shank face. They look wonderful, artistically speaking, yes, but they also know not to get in the way of simply enjoying this pipe as
a pipe. throw in flanks covered in wavering (or perhaps more fitting to the shape's name, "wavy") flamberg-style, ultra-fine flame grain and a broad, smooth underside covered in birdseye, and I say color me impressed.
- Eric N. Squires