As we can see in this dauntingly developed bent Dublin, muscle and grace needn’t be mutually exclusive, and Ichi Kitahara combines the intuitively oppositional adjectives in a seemingly effortless manner.
OK, I am one smitten-kitten (thinks about all of the ribbing he will take from his buds at a pipe show, as a result of that wording), make that one ‘bedazzled Bear’ (sheepish grin). Holding this bent Dublin, turning to scrutinize at every possible angle, every macro aspect is amazingly ‘right’, and inspired details elevate the totality to an even higher plane. Example: say, in a fit of insanity, you ground the rim to a flat plane (toss-in a great re-stain to match the body, for arguments sake), you would still
have a bent Dublin that you could be proud of. Now add back the implied forward roll within the sweet & subtle undulation of the rim, as well as the beginning of a crest which would be a natural outcome of the same, and something well beyond ‘good’ breathes to life. Right now, in my humble opinion, Kitahara-san is doing his best work since I started describing him in '07, and yet his prices seem (roughly) still on par with those of four years ago. If you haven’t considered one of Kitahara’s “Ichi-Bans”, it might be time to make a fresh evaluation.
--R. ‘Bear’ Graves