When it comes to the highly sculptural, elaborately carved manner of briar pipe, the type you'd buy and consider not smoking for fear of ruining its pristine beauty, one needn't look farther than a pipe produced by Alex Florov. Considering Alex's primary vocation as a model maker, he's uniquely gifted when it comes to working in the minutia, and as much is clearly evident here when handling this absolutely jaw-dropping specimen from the carver. Perfectly upright and at rest on a table, the Leaping Goldfish seems to defy its medium, appearing instead to have been produced of something far more malleable than hard wood, like soft clay or putty, as its folds and lips tumble in thick ribbon tails down and across from the bowl. Really, this is one to cherish.
-- Ted Swearingen