Davide Iafisco: Smooth Blowfish

Product Number: 002-702-0111

Pipes like this Blowfish remind me why I love Davide Iafisco's portfolio so much. The Italian artisan studies great carvers from around the world such as Teddy Knudsen and Jeff Gracik, then applies his own creativity and design choices to produce some extraordinary pipes. This Blowfish is only the sixth we have ever received from Davide, the second longest, and easily my favorite. I held it for 20 minutes, turning it this way and that to admire the line work, before I finally forced myself to set it down. A clever combination of curves and lines is what this pipe is all about, and what sets it apart from other renditions of the popular shape.

At a glance in side profile, the shape is one of smooth curvature, from the rim, down around the heel and up the flaring shank. However, when seen from above, a completely different aesthetic presents, with crisply defined ridgelines outlining the panel comprising the center of the stummel. The bulbous sides of the bowl sweep out then back into concave shaping at the margins, managing to exude a sleek crispness. The effect is most prominent at the aft of the bowl, where the ridgelines flare and sway dramatically at the transition, quite evocative of the fins of a fish yet blending in with the profile from the right angle. A center ridgeline on the fore and underside divides the shape neatly without interrupting either the grain or sleek feel, again displaying a crisp clarity when seen from the front and and a deceptively curvaceous side profile.

Iafisco's attention to detail cannot be overstated here, with elements such a kiss of plateau on the left flank evoking a sense of fish scales, and the paneled flare of the shank continued perfectly in the stem base reminding me of the feathered edge of a fish's tail. The grain, and more importantly how Davide has followed it, really demands attention, with cross grain brought out perfectly by a vibrant contrast stain and smooth finish on every single facet, birdseye packing the flanks and uniform striations sweeping across the center panels. No matter which way I turn it, I cannot find a single place where the grain isn't accentuated by clever shaping, making the pipe a pure treat to handle and a remarkable achievement. If you are looking for a workhorse smoker to toss on your desk, please keep looking; this is a superlative piece, an artistic triumph that deserves to be the centerpiece in a discerning collector's rotation.

- Joel Balyeat
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.69 in./144.53 mm.
  • Weight: 1.70 oz./48.19 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.56 in./39.62 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.24 in./31.50 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.77 in./19.56 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.45 in./36.83 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Italy
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