American Estates: Brad Pohlmann Smooth Lars Blowfish with Cocobolo (2016)

Product Number: 004-009-12803

Asymmetry is a difficult thing to execute. More accurately: asymmetry is a difficult thing to execute purposefully. That isn't to say it's particularly difficult to render a shape asymmetrically, but it is quite difficult to impart asymmetry into a shape, while making it right. Brad has, very clearly, accomplished this, with each easy line giving way to a differing grain pattern, and each smoothly-rolling curve accentuated by the licks of flame and birdseye it defines. What elevates this piece above the fold though, is Brad's magnificent display of subtlety.

Teardrop shanks are increasingly common nowadays, with many pipe makers making use of the familiar Ivarsson-esque ridge which trails from shank end to bowl. When unprofessionally rendered, though, it can seem forced: imparted upon the shape as a means of lending it additional dynamism, drawing attention toward a particularly plump bowl (for example), or simply because the carver wanted to make one. That isn't to say that's particularly the wrong way to go about it, though if clumsily executed, it can seem an extraneous aspect rather than an intrinsic characteristic. Not so here.

Brad's use of the teardrop is seemingly effortless, riding the shank as if gracefully sliding through the transition to arrive expediently at its necessary juncture at the rim. It makes its presence known, and then just as effortlessly, becomes one with the bowl itself. A softly chamfered rim is tickled with the lightest bit of birdseye, supported by licks of flame grain all around. The transition is neatly pinched, emphasizing the forward-thrust, gestural silhouette, and making for a feel in hand that's comfortable, while also substantial. A gorgeous display of brilliant subtlety.

- Chuck Stanion
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Measurements & Other Details

Minor Rim Darkening

Pohlmann (Arched)
  • Length: 4.61 in./117.09 mm.
  • Weight: 2.34 oz./66.22 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.03 in./51.56 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.48 in./37.59 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.76 in./19.30 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.67 in./42.42 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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