The Scorpion Fugu is a rare pipe smoker's delicacy and must be carefully cut by a master carver with years of training to ensure the safety of those brave enough to seek out its lethally-cool and dangerously flavorful smoking characteristics.
Several weeks ago I received a quick preview of this Scorpion Fugu (in the form of a video message) from Jeff. The shaping was complete, the stem not yet cut, and the contrast finish was in the first stage; and I was already taken with the piece. You can imagine my excitement when a package from one Jeff Gracik arrived here at Smokingpipes HQ. I would actually be able to get my hands on this doubly-dangerous and seductive pipe.
Follow the slender, beautifully arching saddle stem from button to base and at that junction, where vulcanite meets briar, you'll find the beginning of a single, smooth panel of contrast-finished cross grain that flows along the underside of the stummel, up the fore of the bowl, and across the rim before fanning out to over both fins and the gorgeous marbled birdseye that covers either side of the shank. The plump, sandblasted flanks of the bowl do well to insulate the chamber as well as provide a softer and surprisingly ergonomic hand feel. I do hope to see more of this dramatic and deadly design from the J. Alan studio. If you are a fan of the Blowfish/Fugu shape, do not hesitate to pull the trigger on this one, as it will most likely sell before I'm even finished babbling. My highest recommendation.
- Shane Ireland