Though broad and lengthy, and sporting plenty of surface area, this (very) freehand Dublin design by Alex Florov feels surprisingly light. The density of the briar itself may play a part in this, but I suspect the real culprit is simply the artful shaping. As wide as that polished, leaf-shaped rim may be, the bowl takes a quick taper as it proceeds smoothly into the sweeping transition and shank, cutting away a great deal of mass. Then, way out in the flaring, plateau-faced far end, the extra substance present there pulls the briar's point of balance well back, so that it winds up somewhere just underneath the overhanging rear edge of the rim. While this, itself, wouldn't cut down on weight, it does make for a lighter, more sensitive balance - both physically and aesthetically speaking.
It all speaks of a serious attention to detail, in short; the kind of attention it takes to create a beautiful piece of art. You'll even find it rearing its head in rather less obvious places, such as the bright brass lining the inside of the shank face, which has been carefully cut to end flush with the craggy plateau. Truth be told, I wouldn't have even known it was there if I wasn't already in the habit of pulling stems off to check for such things.
- Eric N. Squires