For quite a while now, perhaps beginning with Jeff Gracik a few years back, a very small, select group of American pipemakers emerged, whose work ceased to be evaluated with a regional qualification: “... work stands with the best of American/gen-next carving.” When discussing their art, the bar was now set at the top of the carving pantheon and the playing field was global. If a “Dream Team” of carvers was formed, drawing from a world without boundaries, Brad Pohlmann would be a member, and this pipe alone could stand as his bona fides
Classically wrought, and blessed with the ability to pleasantly stun at 20 paces, this Pohlmann features not one, but two 800lb gorillas, (from a describing standpoint) represented by the form and grain, and this faithful, babbling quadruped isn’t sure which one to tackle first (flips coin). While we titled this jewel as a “bent Brandy”, sadly there is no choice of “bent ZOUNDS!” in the shape drop down, this interpretation quietly speaks of the best attributes found within the Danish bent/round oeuvre. From the poignantly perfect, bisecting line, which runs from the top of the bit to the fore-rise of the heel, to the ridge that originates at the tear-drop mount, only to fade into the bowl with a lack of ripple that would make Greg Louganis’ best dive look like a belly flop, I see nothing but perfect here. The grain... sorry, I’m a bit verklempt. Look at the pictures, and talk amongst yourselves. Yeah, Brad rocks.
--R. ‘Bear’ Graves