I'll admit that I'm rarely so grabbed by anything at first sight as I was with this Maigurs Knet piece - and rarer still does that initial sense of surprise endure despite having plenty of time to handle and look over the object of attention. In silhouette and form, this is simply a well-executed classic Lovat, with a few charming, subtle personal touches lent to the design via a nice bit of cant to the bowl and an extra-smooth transition. If you sketched its lines, or made a 3D model of it, one would look at it and likely say, "Yes, that will make quite a nice pipe." That wasn't enough for Maigurs, though - clearly. The briar he's worked with here is simply, exquisitely gorgeous, and he's played its exceptionally lush and lively flame grain to its very best - and then managed to come up with the perfect complement to that pattern in the form of a ferrule which, honestly, we aren't entirely sure how he made. One guess is that it's actually section cut from a pine cone that was set in acrylic - but again, just a guess. Whatever it is, the naturalistic pattern, set against a stark black background, is art in and of itself; even so, though, he still made sure to create a buffer between the deep black acrylic and the yellow-amber contrast of the briar for the benefit of the composition as a whole, by framing the curious ferrule between two slivers of medium-dark horn.
- Eric N. Squires