New Pipes: Alex Florov: Smooth Oyster "Slonim"  

Product Number: 002-354-0168

To say that I have missed being able to talk about the art of Alex Florov would be a profound understatement. During the mid-to-late 2000s, it started with the uncanny mirrors, facets and impossible angles that only a sculptor could attempt. Alex did far more than attempt though, he crushed it. By 2010, his pierced flowers were leaving me breathless, and his famous Egyptian set did the impossible... rendered me speechless. When I first saw this Slonim Grade Clam, in a manner of speaking, it was much like when I experienced ground-to-sky lightning in a jungle clearing in Panama; I could sense that something ‘big’ was happening (right down to on odd tingle) about a half a second before it (in this case, an epiphany) hit me. While this masterful Florovian break-through didn’t leave me (and my squad) blind and unable to hear for quite a bit, it does have me rethinking esoterica a bit differently.

The classical Danish approach to handling asymmetry is to ‘tame’ the organic by pairing it to an architectural anchor. Later, Hiroyuki Tokutomi demonstrated that deft use of asymmetry could offset other asymmetry. Here Alex Florov solidly unifies a trio of wildly differing organic forms through linear flanking, and the ingenious use of the West’s ‘rule of three’. The forward sloped disc of the bowl not only shows a poignancy in the placement of the chamber and the surrounding plateau, the view from the top reveals an homage to the Enso (the Zen circle, first seen in the earlier works of Toku-san). While imbued with the same amazing presentation of ‘melting katachi’, the left-to-right bias of the shank counters the fore-slope of the bowl, aided by a very cool, diagonal offset. With the stem and bit, again, we have a sweet sense of 'katachi meets impermanence', but the emphasis returns to the implied elongation of the bowl. Where’s the aforementioned, groundbreaking use the Western rule of three? Not in simply having three distinct-but-unified segments (though it doesn’t hurt the case). It's also in the widest part of the bowl, shank, and mount-to-bit all measuring 2.36” (within a .04” tolerance). Alex never ceases to amaze.

--R. 'Bear' Graves


 

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Measurements & Other Details

 Length: 5.89 in./149.61 mm. Weight: 3.50 oz./99.22 g.
 Bowl Height: 1.54 in./39.12 mm. Chamber Depth: 1.30 in./33.02 mm.
 Chamber Diameter: 0.79 in./20.07 mm. Outside Diameter: 2.36 in./59.94 mm.
 Stem Material: Vulcanite Filter: None
 Shape: Freehand Finish: Smooth
 Material: Briar Country: United States


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