Making a pipe that sits stably isn't tremendously difficult; drill a couple holes in a block of briar and stick a stem in it, and the result will stay upright just fine. Making a sitter that is beautiful and lively, and yet still perfectly stable, well, that's another matter. A matter, fortunately for us all, that Ichi Kitahara is more than capable of tackling, with this artful rendition of the old Cherrywood being a result. The balance between the mass of the broad, birdseye-packed rim and the long, fine, arc of the high-rising stem? Perfect. So too is the balance between the opposing, yet equally smooth curves of both bowl and shank, joined by a transition defined in an apparent nod to the shape's namesake - i.e. the junction between the bough and branch of a cherry tree.
- Eric N. Squires