This first thing to catch my eye in this Larryson briar, despite it's great size and dramatic form, was actually the finish. The contrast stain is simply excellent; though at first glance just a (pretty common) tan-and-walnut affair, Paul Hubartt's staining process produces amazing detail and definition in every little convolution and stroke of the briar's grain, particularly in the flame grain that bands the flanks. Design-wise, though the lines do sweep with plenty of flare, the shaping is more architectural, controlled, and structured than we usually see in the Pickaxe. The bamboo is also of particular interest, contrasting the briar in its paleness, yet at the same time echoing the fine strands of the aforementioned flame grain in the striated texture of its sandblast. That a sandblasted element's texture is used to echo a smooth-polished one's graining is, in and of itself, quite an artful addition.
- Eric N. Squires