Tsuge Ikebana: Sandblasted Arrowhead (F)

Product Number: 002-623-4460

"An Ikebana sandblast will top out at a CD Grade - end of statement”

- Bear Graves, in critique of a CD Grade Ikebana sandblast.

In my defense, at the time of the above description, I had never even heard of - much less seen a D (or higher) sandblast from Tsuge Ikebana. At the same time, I must confess that I couldn't imagine a shape/blast combination which could live up to such a lofty grading - and thereby now find myself hoisted on my own petard.

This F Grade Ikebana features a shape, the likes of which I have never come close to encountering, that is a fascinating consideration in duality. From at least four vantage points (pics 1-4), we have a cutting-edge study in the creation of a palpable sense of momentum – with utterly no reliance upon elongation nor a flattened profile. From most any other angle, however (best seen in pics 5 & 7), this bad boy is live, aquatic, and positively predatory. A very solid sitter, with aspects that remind me both of a shark and a stingray, when poised on a combination of the rear of the heel and mount the upward arc of the bowl is quite evocative of a head lifting in response to the presence of prey. The birdseye on the heel and bottom of the shank is huge, with some of the whorls measuring between 5.56 and 7.62mm (yes, the same width as an M16 round, and an M14 or Garand round, respectively – but don’t read anything into that), and sonnets could be written about the quality of the ring grain. An Ikebana sandblast worthy of an F Grade stamp? I’m sure a believer - now.

R. 'Bear' Graves

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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.37 in./136.40 mm.
  • Weight: 2.70 oz./76.54 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.77 in./44.96 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.21 in./30.73 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.84 in./21.34 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.25 in./57.15 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan