Abe Herbaugh: Smooth Blowfish with Bamboo Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-614-0192

Based in Vermont, Abe Herbaugh is among the world's most premier artisans, and his work is renowned for its technical quality, aesthetic distinctness, and remarkable accent work. Herbaugh was already a seasoned instrument repairman before he transitioned to artisan pipe making, and such a background has translated seamlessly to handmade pipes: His understanding of tools, processes, and engineering are evident in his work, often pushing the aesthetic and craftsmanship boundaries of pipe making. With an equal appreciation for traditional designs as well as the design sensibilities of iconic carvers before him, Herbaugh boasts a robust portfolio of classic shapes with deftly crafted accents alongside avant-garde Freehands of singular style.

Of that latter variety, this Blowfish is an intricate yet reserved rendition of the popular artisan shape. At its core, the Blowfish is defined by cross-cut grain orientation that's maximized through a central panel and bulbous flanks: This central panel highlights the briar's cross grain, leaving birdseye to populate the sides. Historically, Danish artisans crafted more symmetrical versions of the shape, but throughout recent decades, Japanese carvers have expanded on the design to incorporate asymmetry. Herbaugh's rendition here aligns well with that Japanese style, the central panel curving to the left across the bowl with its defining ridgelines flicking outward at the transition. Typically, though, said asymmetry and ridgelines would extend through the shank, but this version offers a more reserved approach, featuring a slender bamboo shank. Such a choice creates a contrasting blend of asymmetrical bowl with symmetrical shank, and Herbaugh has handled it deftly here, beautifully matching the stem base with the rhythm and shape of the bamboo's natural knuckles. All dressed in a deep, mahogany stain, the bowl showcases the Blowfish design's characteristic, cross-grain-laden panel with swathes of birdseye along the flanks.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.54 in./166.12 mm.
  • Weight: 0.90 oz./25.51 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.42 in./36.07 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.15 in./29.21 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.70 in./17.78 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.36 in./34.54 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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