Davide Iafisco: Smooth Blowfish Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-702-0136

Davide Iafisco boasts a unique shaping style, one which makes itself known in every pipe that he crafts and is informed by the Italian artisan's wide-ranging stylistic influences and his own singular approach to design. Among these influences are Claudio Cavicchi, Teddy Knudsen, Todd Johnson, Chris Asteriou, and Adam Davidson, attending Adam and Jeff Gracik's pipe-making seminar in 2015. Iafisco's first inspirations came by way of the classic Anglo-French school of design, though he quickly branched out, and using these artisans as benchmarks and guides for his own work, developed a sharp eye for drilling, and a keen sense of line that saw him start work for Luciano as one of their principle carvers. Now Iafisco makes pipes under his own name, leveraging his more than a decade's worth of experience to bring us expertly executed pieces such as this Blowfish.

I'm certainly reminded of various American Blowfish renditions that I've seen while looking at this, though, appropriately, I'm also struck at its similarities to Davide's own imaginings of the shape, and the way that his iterations have evolved. The bowl, of course, showcases its dual asymmetrical panels quite proudly, the left smaller and more self-contained than the right, both of which are the result of two ridgelines flowing through the underside of the shank and wrapping around their respective sides of the bowl. Both panels display their own style of shaping through the ridges which surround them, with subtle stylistic variations that are most obvious at the lower aft section, where the briar curves out from the surface of the bowl just a bit further than at other points. The shaping here is the result of a plunging curve of a raised ridge starting at the shank face and wrapping up and around the side of the bowl, conjuring images of gills or of a wavering fin propelling its owner through the water.

The shank as a whole is a quartet of asymmetrical panels which all have differing degrees of roundness, tempering the structural outline of the aft side with subtle curvature. I feel a kind of intentional understatement at work here, the effect of which is most readily seen when this pipe is looked at from above: There is a defined curve from the fore of the bowl's left flank, conveniently framed by that panel's ridge, which follows an implied line from the shank which is also curved, giving this pipe a great deal of dynamic "swimming" momentum. A light, honeyed finish dresses the stummel in naturalesque hues, with the veritable ocean of birdseye displayed on both flanks of the stummel leaping out thanks to the lighter colors covering the briar. The stem here is a sleek saddle of jet-black vulcanite that fits into a recessed portion of briar present at the domed face, making for a cohesive look that's bolstered by the stem base's expansion ring: a stylistic mirror of the shank's own flare toward the end.

-John McElheny
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.18 in./131.57 mm.
  • Weight: 2.40 oz./68.04 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.67 in./42.42 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.25 in./31.75 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.78 in./19.81 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.78 in./45.21 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Italy
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