Brighton James: Smooth King Heron Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-973-0001

Brighton James de los Santos is an American artisan who has developed one of the most singularly expressive shaping styles in the pipe world, with a futuristic, slightly aquatic leaning influenced by his life near the ocean. His portfolio showcases an unapologetically artistic leaning that most often manifests as shockingly high-concept works of modern sculptural art, as immediately displayed by this King Heron. An extremely unique take on Brighton's signature Heron shape, this pipe is possessed of a highly dynamic figure centered around a deeply plunging heel, with this heel's sharp termination naturally leading the eye to the fore. The central heel area of this pipe reveals one of its most avant-garde characteristics: the prevalent use of resin and limited utilization of briar. The entirety of this pipe, save for the bowl, is made from a combination of resin and vulcanite, with a metal tube used to connect the bowl and stem that can be seen at the transition. The clear acrylic comprising most of the lower bowl and heel is joined to a lengthy vulcanite structure almost immediately out of the transition, this structure tapering swiftly into a long, slender stem that curves down subtly at the bit. From the flanks of the stem, a pair of ridgelines manifest and flow through into the base, whose top flares into its own ridge, and descends to the pointed heel.

The back side of the stem also boasts a ridge, but not one as crisply-rendered as the pair on the flanks, and its more rounded appearance contributes to a remarkably fluid sense of curvature in profile. Like the stem, the fore of the heel is lined with a pair of ridges, ridges that rise with the bowl and surround the rim, not only firming up the bowl significantly, but working in concert with a subdued hollow-carving at the flanks of the heel to create an endlessly intriguing collision of soft and firm textures. The bowl itself is tall, reaching nearly five inches in height thanks to the heel's extended sharpness, and it displays an aerodynamic, streamlined look that's raised at the aft and dipped at the fore. The result is a structure that commands attention immediately, drawing attention to its curving ridges and extremely reserved asymmetry: tempering this pipe's overtly sculptural look slightly. Though perhaps not instantly reminiscent of its namesake avian, this pipe's outline shifts when tilting the stem down and pointing its heel toward the side: with the hollowed transition evoking the heron's eye and the heel its beak. Though deeply curved, especially at the bowl's metal tube, this pipe accepts pipe cleaners without issue, ensuring it remains as useful as it is stunningly beautiful. Dressed in a warm, chestnut-hued stain, the bowl presents a broad swath of birdseye across both fore and aft walls, while the rim and flanks present dense cross grain.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 7.13 in./181.10 mm.
  • Weight: 2.02 oz./57.15 g.
  • Bowl Height: 4.92 in./124.97 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.54 in./39.12 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.57 in./39.88 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: United States
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