Maybe it's just my imagination, but it seems that some of the best work I've seeing lately has been in the shape of an Elephant's Foot; Jeff Gracik, Peter Heding, and now Tom Eltang; and all this within a month. As implied, this is yet another stunning rendering of the design. It's an elegant, lean composition, though undoubtedly statuesque and grand, and the piece reads, appropriately enough, as if it were executed by the hands of an absolute master of the craft. The side paneling is unwaveringly perfect of line, the dangerous transition of bowl to shank is here handled flawlessly. The Elephant's Foot is largely about beautifully managing an impressive display of bird's eye along the face of the bowl, as well as the block's cross-grain along the overarching panel that makes up the flanks and bowl rim. And as expected, Tom Eltang has nailed as much here successfully. So successfully, in fact, that he deemed the pipe worthy of his Snail Grade.
-- Ted Swearingen