Grechukhin: Smooth Bent Brandy with Silver
No, Vladimir Grechukhin has not caught the "reverse Calabash" bug - though had he been so inclined, he could have fit quite a cooling chamber into the extra-stout, playfully proportioned shank of this plump bent Apple. We've actually seen him do shank designs like this a few times before, though it is far less common than his broad-flanked, yet narrow-sectioned shank designs. In this particular instance, the results actually come off as reminiscent of S. Bang, albeit an S. Bang that's long been on a steady diet of grass-fed beef and heavy lifting. This is not, to say the least, a pocket-pipe, despite all the briar's mass being contained within a very compact length. Even in such extreme proportions, as expected Vladimir has kept line and form tightly and precisely controlled, resulting in a fine visual balance and smooth, effortless flow. On top of that, it's simply a pleasure in hand - natural, soothingly smooth, and very, very substantial. As for the grain and finish, well, as you can see, they're beautiful.
- Eric N. Squires