Grechukhin: Smooth Standing Blowfish with Black Palm (GG)

Product Number: 002-497-0121

This is the most conspicuous briar found in our latest batch from Vladimir Grechukhin. Why? Because it's also the most, shall we say, statuesque. To put it another, less-fancified way, this is a whole lot of Blowfish. I suppose part of what makes that stand out so much is that we're really pretty used to high-end, complex, hand-shaped Blowfish as being medium-to-rather-small pipes. Here Vladimir has created something that reminds me more of those towering Tokutomi Cavalier-Blowfish hybrids of five or six years ago — and this design is, as it happens, also a sitter, though not quite so lofty a one as those Tokus (which had a long, extended foot supporting the bowl of course, being part-Cavalier). Overall there's also a much more compact presence to the design of this Grechukhin, in terms of bowl, shank, and transition, something very much fitting to Vladimir's own style.

As you can see, Vladimir gave this piece not one but two of his personal stamps of particular approval: a "GG". The design is solid yet dramatic, with great sweeping planes and clean lines following smooth-but-eccentric orbits. and yet I can't help but wonder if part of the reason why Grechukhin was so especially pleased with this pipe didn't have to do simply with the briar's cooperation. This shape, in this size, makes for some vast surfaces. More surface to a pipe means more risk of the design running into a natural flaw in the briar, and greater size of a given design by itself limits how much "wiggle room" there is in orienting the shape within the block as well. It's kind of an all-or-nothing gamble for an artisan: either you get beautiful grain and briar in such an extravagant design, or it's toast, and with it a block that might have otherwise made for two very nice smaller pipes. This "GG" as you can see, came out beautifully.

- Eric N. Squires

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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.04 in./153.42 mm.
  • Weight: 4.54 oz./128.82 g.
  • Bowl Height: 2.84 in./72.14 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.92 in./48.77 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.85 in./21.59 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.98 in./50.29 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Russia
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