I am already a fan of long-shank designs, especially oval shanks as found on the Canadian and Lumberman shapes. Imagine my delight when I first laid eyes on this painfully beautiful bent Brandy from the California-based carving duo. There is definitely some heft to the gently curving shank and the somewhat "high-waisted" and deftly tapered Brandy bowl is perched proudly upon the transition. The short-throw saddle stem and orange wood stem accent add visual lightness to the composition with the added benefit of uber-comfort in the teeth (the J's are cutting some of the most comfortable stems that I have encountered). Surely I don't need to point this out, but I will anyway; the cross grain is absolutely brilliant and the entire left flank of the piece is teeming with tight, luscious birdseye. The grain here is testament to the benefit of the "shape first/drill second" approach. Briars such as this (not to mention the rest of the J&J's found in this update) are perfect examples of "two heads [being] better than one".
- Shane Ireland