American Estates: J. Alan Smooth Acorn with Bamboo (1672) (2020) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-009-18421

Jeff Gracik is one of America's most renowned pipe makers, the artisan getting his start in the craft the same year he began work on his graduate degree. With a pair of briar blocks and some pre-formed stems, he set to work on carving his first two pipes completely with hand tools and on the floor of his in-law's kitchen. This sparked the blaze of his passion for the craft, and his determination in carving pipes of excellency resulted in him visiting Todd Johnson, Tonni Nielsen, and Jody Davis, combining his already self-taught skill with teachings from some of the world's most accomplished artisans.

This Acorn leans well toward the more organic side of Gracik's shaping style, with plenty of organic texture and shaping details that capture the eye and provide intrigue for the fingers, a lovely treatment of the profile. A rather open transition leads to a trim, upturned shank that is met by three knuckles of bamboo, the dense grass' nodes tilting and canting at varying angles. A band of vulcanite separates the bamboo from the stem and continues a divot at the lower left side, much like the top right side of the shank does, with the band tapering as it finds the stem which flares out to its base. Said base is slanted rearward, mimicking the natural rhythm of the bamboo and unifying the look of the piece quite well, and the bit takes on a demure downturn which offers some added poise. The bowl here sits plumply atop a rounded, pronounced heel, its walls making an arcing flare toward a high-set waistline before tapering gently to the plateau-crowned rim. The plateau not only adds additional texture to the pipe, but harmonizes with with the organic look of the bamboo for a handsome, naturalesque aesthetic. Dressing the briar is a vivid mahogany-auburn contrast stain that reveals dense streaks of flame grain which wrap around the bowl.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

Minor Rim Darkening Mild Chamber Carbonizing

•J. ALAN PIPES•(arched)
  • Length: 5.92 in./150.37 mm.
  • Weight: 1.60 oz./45.36 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.78 in./45.21 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.44 in./36.58 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.74 in./18.80 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.86 in./47.24 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Acorn/Pear
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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