American Estates: Todd Johnson Sandblasted Ostrich (Hoplite) (2006) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-009-19260

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. This Ostrich in particular displays a distinctive shape which is seldom seen elsewhere and is only the second of its kind we've ever seen produced by Todd.

Enthusiasts of Johnson's work will likely recognize the base shape of this pipe, as the bottom line of the bowl and shank form a particularly sinuous S-curve, and the bowl itself is possessed of a stimulating forward urge. This outline is immediately reminiscent of Johnson's Samurai Volcano, though the shank has been stylistically extended through the underside of the bowl's fore, tapering slightly to meet a lengthy foot of black vulcanite. This foot allows for easy, stable sitting of the pipe on a flat surface, its weight balanced expertly, and can be removed at any time to reduce the overall length and allow for easier transportation. Though the silhouette here looks to be a fusion of the aforementioned Volcano imagining and the Cavalier, the removable foot doesn't cap off a moisture reservoir or a draft channel that's been drilled through the entire length of the shank. While not a true Cavalier, this pipe certainly embodies the style of one, with a mid-set bowl and tall stature, its fluid curves leading the eye along its central contours. Said bowl sits atop a broad base rounded at the lower flanks by a pair of ridges, lending the outline an ovoid shape before the walls taper to a forward-leaning rim that's pointed at the fore. At the underside of the bowl, the shank's continuous travel can be seen in the form of a raised section of briar that continues the shaping of the round shank. A smartly curved stem of black vulcanite caps off the design, and its dark coloration matches well with the inky sandblast dressing the stummel, one which reveals rippling ring grain cascading down the bowl.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

Minor Rim Darkening Mild Chamber Carbonizing Finish Discolored

TODD M (Arched,Inside Oval)
ƩTΩA (Inside Oval)
JOHNSON (Arched,Inside Oval)
(Hoplite Helmet Stamp)
  • Length: 8.64 in./219.46 mm.
  • Weight: 2.37 oz./67.13 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.20 in./55.88 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.95 in./49.53 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.86 in./21.84 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.38 in./35.05 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Cavalier
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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