American Estates: Todd Johnson Partially Sandblasted Blowfish with Bakelite (Hoplite) (Unsmoked)

Product Number: 004-009-15378

Within Todd Johnson's portfolio, the American carver has played with a number of Blowfish designs: from the long-shanked, forward-urging variety, to more muscular, tightly curled iterations, to those of more dramatic proportions between bowl and shank, as seen here. Todd is as much an artist as he is a craftsman, and such skill is on display in this piece, as Johnson has not only deftly carved and drilled the briar but has carved with subtle flourishes and a beautiful degree of fluidity.

The flowing, curving profile actually belies this Blowfish's size — it's quite large, making for a substantial, palm-filling pipe. Overall, Todd has touched on all the characteristic shaping cues of the Blowfish shape, but there are certain, unique touches that deserve attention: The left side's panel, smaller than the right's, features a sloping, teardrop-shaped ridgeline across its face. Likewise, Johnson has slightly curled the bowl toward the left, having read the orientation of the central panel's cross grain. The right flank is sandblasted, offering excellent textural diversity in hand but stained a complementary hue that pairs nicely with the rest of the smooth stummel. The arching Bakelite stem continues the shank's upward trajectory, its pale, creamy hues making this piece even more visually striking. Most creative, though, is the shaping of the stem base as it's subtly tilted to echo the bowl's curve. It's a stunning composition from Todd and is presented here in unsmoked condition.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details


TODD M. JOHNSON (Arched, Inside Oval)
(Hoplite Stamp)
  • Length: 4.81 in./122.17 mm.
  • Weight: 1.95 oz./55.34 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.06 in./52.32 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.83 in./46.48 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.84 in./21.34 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.66 in./42.16 mm.
  • Stem Material: Bakelite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Partial Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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