American Estates: Brad Pohlmann Sandblasted Bent Apple with Spalted Tamarind (2011) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-009-17001

Brad Pohlmann's foray into pipe making is one filled with twists and turns, but begins properly in New York circa 1975, when Pohlmann returned from what he called a "pipe pilgrimage," traveling to London in order to visit the great tobacco shops of old, with a journey to Scotland to see the Rattray's factory at work. As the years passed, his travels did not cease, rather, he continued, traipsing across the United States and meeting with a myriad of pipe makers so that he could open his own tobacconist shop and sell high quality pipes. In his travels he met with makers such as Elliot Nachwalter, Finn Meyan Andersen, J.T. Cooke, and even visited the Briar Workshop, spending five years of this time working with Cooke, Nachwalter, and Jorg Jemelka to carve pipes and hone his abilities. In 1980 Pohlmann began a 4 year tool and die apprenticeship before starting a 16 year career in the computer industry, doing pipe repairs and making them for friends at odd intervals. In 2003 Pohlmann returned to his passion and began making pipes full time under his own name, almost 30 years after his journey began, taking all of the knowledge he had acquired before and using it to carve high quality artisan pieces such as this bent Apple.

Displaying a striking degree of Danish influence, this bent Apple is quite the dynamic piece, with a saddle stem beginning things, curving ever so slightly as it makes its way to a base that's flared near the bit, mirroring the flare of the stem that it's married to. It meets this stem at a trim band of spalted tamarind which covers the lenticular shank face with its unique hues, ending the gradual, consistent flare present from the transition onward. This isn't just present horizontally, but vertically, and it's very subtle at that, pulling some of the visual weight away from the bowl in order for your gaze to rest naturally at the transition, thereby allowing you to more readily appreciate it. Of course, with the efforts made to wrest away some of that weight, it's not a normal transition, but one that features a wrapping ridgeline near to the shank, looking both pointed and cuffed while still giving the stummel a more organic inclination. This also results in a spur where the point comes to its apex underneath, pairing with the spur underneath the bowl to further accentuate the organicism here and remind me a bit of the Acorn shape as well. The bowl itself is quite plump and sits on a lifted heel, raising its high waistline into prominence and better showcasing its quavering, smooth rim, one that stands in handsome contrast to the earthy sandblast of the rest of the stummel.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

Smoked, But Rather Clean

  • Length: 5.29 in./134.37 mm.
  • Weight: 1.47 oz./41.73 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.75 in./44.45 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.40 in./35.56 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.66 in./42.16 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Apple
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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