American Estates: J. Alan Smooth Walnut with Bamboo and Ivorite (1626) (2020) (Unsmoked)

Product Number: 004-009-16672

J. Alan pipes are handmade by Jeff Gracik in San Diego, California. Gracik's first foray into pipe making came during his first year as a graduate student, when he purchased a pair of briar blocks and a pair of preformed stems, determined to make a set of pipes that he could use. He carved those initial pieces with borrowed tools on the floor of his in-laws' home, and from there, Gracik became obsessed with the craft and began a journey to expand his knowledge of pipe making. His journey led him to the workshops of Todd Johnson, Jody Davis, and Tonni Nielsen, and with each visit and each piece of advice accrued, Gracik's passion for the work grew. Today, among discerning collectors, J. Alan pipes are some of the most sought after pieces the world over. His work showcases a penchant for the soft features and elegant line work of the Danish tradition, with a particular fondness displayed for organic forms, such as this Walnut Freehand shape.

The softly rounded bowl of this piece features a chamfered, slanted rim that dramatically favors the fore over the aft, and a subtly lifted heel. The rim and heel work in concert to lend the bowl a gestural poise, with a crisp ridgeline wrapping around the underside of the bowl seemingly propelling the bulbous fore of the piece further outward. The demure shank is extended by a craggy, nonuniform section of bamboo, accentuating the form's naturalistic aesthetic and providing a warm dose of color to the pipe's reserved palette. A trim band of Ivorite accents the shank end, complementing the hues of the bamboo, before giving way to an arcing saddle stem of jet-black vulcanite.

Dressed in a fetching, traditional smooth finish, the briar's natural grain patterns take center stage. Dense fields of birdseye mark the fore and aft of the bowl, transfixing the eye with their hypnotic presence. The flanks of the bowl are cloaked by handsome cross grain that stacks up from the heel to the rim and seemingly drives the totality of the composition forward with clean, parallel lines. Beautifully rendered and exuding an elegant charm, this piece will no doubt become a favorite among any collector's rotation, and somehow, this piece remains unsmoked.

--Davin Hylton
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Measurements & Other Details


J.ALAN PIPES(arched)
  • Length: 5.05 in./128.27 mm.
  • Weight: 1.76 oz./49.90 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.96 in./49.78 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.39 in./35.31 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.70 in./17.78 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.81 in./45.97 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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