Bill Shalosky: Sandblasted Dublin with Bakelite (612) Tobacco Pipe
Product Number: 002-720-0189
Bakelite is an old, vintage material, with a history dating over 100 years. Developed in New York by and named after the Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland, Bakelite was patented in 1909 and is hard, heat-resistant, synthetic plastic used for decades as knife handles, telephone casings, jewelry, and other ubiquitous, everyday items. It's recognized and prized for its now retro aesthetic, and it's a historic, pioneering material in the chemical industry: Bakelite paved the way as the first synthetic plastic and inspired investors to fund future developments, its innovative precedent earning a National Historic Chemical Landmark designation in 1993.
Today, you're unlikely to find new products fashioned from Bakelite; however, it's surged in popularity among artisan pipe makers over recent decades — most notably throughout the work of American carvers. It's something of an in-between material compared to vulcanite and acrylic stems, offering a slightly softer bite than acrylic but without the oxidization potential of vulcanite. Plus, it's available in myriad colors and patterns, displaying intriguing depth and endless appeal to those who appreciation complex and vibrant stem tones. That said, Bakelite is a difficult material to work with: One, its supply is limited to vintage wares, with pipe makers and suppliers of materials often having to source it from antique products, and two, its dense composition requires hours of strenuous labor to sand and file into mouthpiece form. For these reasons, it's a rarer stem material than more commonly seen acrylic and vulcanite, and pipes displaying Bakelite are prized and collected for their scarcity and for the material's individual palettes.
Bill Shalosky is one of said American artisans whose work occasionally features Bakelite, and here he's paired a stem of alluring blue hues to a sandblasted stummel for an overall fetching color palette that lends vibrant contrast to the Bakelite mouthpiece. This Dublin displays a more lithe and sleek demeanor compared to Bill's often more muscular shaping style, and its design calls to mind a previous Pot we received from him, both pieces defined by Bakelite stems and a plateau-crowned bowl. Unlike that Pot, however, this Dublin's bowl flares upward slightly into a craggier eruption of plateau, offering organic inclinations and pointed peaks that call to mind up-shooting stalagmites. The finely textured sandblast commending the bowl has brought out a detailed and refined relief of natural grain, matching well with the plateau crown above.-Truett Smith
Measurements & Other Details
- Length: 6.34 in./161.04 mm.
- Weight: 0.90 oz./25.51 g.
- Bowl Height: 1.64 in./41.66 mm.
- Chamber Depth: 1.35 in./34.29 mm.
- Chamber Diameter: 0.84 in./21.34 mm.
- Outside Diameter: 1.51 in./38.35 mm.
- Stem Material: Bakelite
- Filter: None
- Shape: Dublin
- Finish: Sandblast
- Material: Briar
- Country: United States