American Estates: Todd Johnson Smooth Samurai Volcano (Last Of 2009) (Phalanx) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-009-18880

American artisan Todd Johnson is as much an artist as he is a pipe carver and, in the time since he began to make his art in the spring of 2000, he has advanced to the upper echelons of the craft. True, his background in woodworking has helped him to achieve what he has to date, but the man himself credits Tom Eltang, who, in the winter of 2001, took the young Todd under his wing and showed him the ways of shape first, drill second freehand work. Additional training with Lars Ivarsson further honed his skill set and deepened both his understanding of and appreciation for classic Danish shaping. Now, Johnson possesses a shaping style that is all his own, resulting in a number of unique and inventive signature shapes: something exemplified by this Samurai Volcano.

This is a shape which Johnson has crafted a number of times in the past, each one possessed of their own singular silhouette and original overall composition, though the profile itself is defined primarily by the nearly vertical stretch of shank and stem and the tall, sharply tapering bowl. Here, both of those aspects are rendered in striking fashion, with one of the most prominently poised stems we've seen in renditions of this shape carved by Johnson. The shank itself ebbs out of a tight, mid-set transition and curls upward to sit evenly with the middle of the rim, its aft side lined subtly with a pair of ridges that separate and flow into the stem. Said stem is a deeply bent half-saddle of jet-black vulcanite whose base continues the ridges of the shank as they rise and surround the fore portion, its bit lifting upward and curving to offer a stunning stance and comfortable smoking posture. Up front, the bowl sits atop a broad, asymmetrical base wrapped with a crisp ridgeline, immediately marking the start of the growth of tall, swiftly tapering walls that rise to a rearward-slanting rim. An organic asymmetry suffuses this bowl's build, matching with a similar sense of asymmetry seen in the understated lines of the shank and stem, resulting in a look reminiscent of its namesakes in different ways: The bowl is certainly akin to a volcano, though the shank and stem embody a silhouette like that of a samurai lifting his katana to strike. Dressed in a warm, vibrant stain, the briar here displays fantastic grain, as the bowl is surrounded with flowing flickers of flame, while the underside is peppered by dense birdseye interrupted by a broad expanse of plateau. Additionally, this pipe was the last piece crafted by Johnson in 2009, evidenced by its stamping proclaiming as such.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details


CONDITION:
Minor Rim Darkening Dings On The Rim Small Scratches Around The Bowl Light Oxidation

STAMPING:
128
TODD M (Arched,Inside Oval)
ƩTΩA (Inside Oval)
JOHNSON (Arched,Inside Oval)
T U.S.A
LAST OF(arched)
(Hoplite Helmet Stamp)
2009(arched)
PHALANX(arched)
  • Length: 7.69 in./195.33 mm.
  • Weight: 5.73 oz./162.39 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.84 in./72.14 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.99 in./50.55 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.77 in./19.56 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.61 in./40.89 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Volcano
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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