American Estates: Jody Davis Smooth Ballerina with Cocobolo (A07) (70) (Saint) (2007) (Unsmoked) Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 004-009-20463

Jody Davis is perhaps one of the best American artisans active today, and certainly one of the most well-respected, but he is not only that, he is also a member of Grammy-nominated rock group Newsboys, who have a cumulative four gold records under their belt. Davis is a man of many talents, that goes without saying, but his journey as an artisan began as many do: with a passion for pipes and smoking. After making his first piece and showing it to one Keith Moore, Moore realized the potential that Davis had and put him into contact with legendary Danish artisan Jess Chonowitsch, who showed Davis some of his methods and shared his sources for materials. At this point Jody began to immerse himself in carving, dedicating himself to the craft and later working with J.T. Cooke in his Vermont workshop for a week, all of which contributed to his incredible depth of knowledge and refined his eye for detail.

Originally a shape made by Bo Nordh, the Ballerina is defined by its curving panels across the flanks of the bowl, as well as its arching bowl shape and flattened heel. This particular iteration of the shape is a special one, being the only rendition we've ever received from Jody Davis, and one that's possessed of an intriguingly different profile than we're used to seeing from the shape. I'm immediately stricken by the presence of the bowl, its more than three inches of height making it the tallest Ballerina I've ever seen and placing the majority of the visual weight squarely at the fore. Said bowl maintains the dainty foot of the archetypal Ballerina, and this foot balances the entire composition admirably, a testament to Davis' skill in shaping and composition. The fore and aft of the bowl are smooth and softly curved as they rise to the rim, and the flanks feature the requisite paneled shaping as they follow the same trajectory: creating a curling outline which reaches forward as it grows taller. The chamber is set forward on the bowl, and the rim itself dips at its most forward point while comprising an arcing dome that caps the bowl. Out back, a wide transition gives way to a singular shank and stem combination, the shank itself a length of flaring cocobolo wood whose face is domed and inlaid with brass. This face fits a demurely curved saddle of black vulcanite in a standard mortise-tenon arrangement and the pair comprise a trailing, gestural arc that extends the reach of this piece significantly. Dressed in a warm smooth finish, the briar bowl here showcases stellar grain, with cross grain following the flanks and wrapping around the rim, while the fore and aft walls are awash with oceans of rich birdseye.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

Dings On The Rim Unsmoked

  • Length: 6.38 in./162.05 mm.
  • Weight: 1.71 oz./48.53 g.
  • Bowl Height: 3.29 in./83.57 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.42 in./36.07 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.69 in./17.53 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.46 in./37.08 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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