I have been sitting here for almost a half hour (shut up, Adam)
, trying to arrive at a single superlative to describe the briar in front of me (and you, of course). ‘Breathtaking’? Yes, and I mean in the literal sense; for the first four-to-five seconds after encountering this volcano, the old, normally semi-voluntary respiration system had the ‘volunteer’ take a hike. Given that I talk about pipes for a living (not to mention that I have [literally] struck up non-related conversations with relative strangers, while exiting an aircraft in flight), this is pretty embarrassing. OK, I’ll surrender my self-imposed fool’s errand for another day, declare that this is one of the most attractive Satous I have encountered in ages (which should say a ton), and move on – wordsmith’s tail tucked between my legs.
While I have yet to see a briar from Satou that didn’t sport a fine grain, it should be pointed out that the legendary master carver doesn’t chase grain. Sure, he can read a block as well as anyone you might care to mention, but the shape will always be his overriding exterior focus – a good/great grain is the bonus. A quick glance at the unabashedly beautiful shape of this sitter will tell you that Satou didn’t deviate from his normal game plan, but (DANG), what a cluster of angel’s hair grain just happened to be in the vicinity. Everything that is “great and right” about Satou-san’s art can be found right here.
-- R. 'Bear' Graves