Given that Ping Zhan's stem & bit work would be considered dauntingly advanced if presented by a carver with more than a decade of practice, the fact that he only turned his creative force towards pipes less than three years ago elevates this accomplishment to impossible (had I not actually laid eyes on it). Creating a reverse-Calabash isn't something I would expect a newer carver to tackle either, much less "nail". If they did, I surely wouldn't expect a brilliant incorporation within a briar of only 3.73" (not a typo) in length, and yet Ping pulled it off with aplomb.
I find the shape and rustication pattern of this reverse-Calabash apple quite reminiscent of a garden snail; it isn't a huge leap to picture this cutie making its slow way from the shade-to-shade created by overhead foliage. Despite its diminutive length, this "Snapple" (heh) is a joy in the paw, requiring about as much effort as a bent Brandy in order to achieve the perfect grip, combine that with a weight of less than 40 grams, and the fact this is a reverse-Calabash... Ping Zhan has created a breakthrough (and a winner).
-- R. 'Bear' Graves