John He: Sandblasted Fugu (19/25)

Product Number: 002-818-0011

The Fugu (or Blowfish) is a design that lends itself well to a wide range of variations. In the most classic sense, it's typically defined by paneled flanks, bisected by a band of cross grain. However, a certain degree of creative license allows carvers to alter these elements according to grain or, simply, artistic whimsy. John He has leaned into that creative license in this sandblasted rendition.

Per the Chinese carver's typical aesthetic, this piece is full of organicism and asymmetry, no doubt a product of his tutelage under Hiroyuki Tokutomi. When viewed from an aerial perspective, the bowl is oblong, tilted leftward, and instead of the Fugu's characteristic panel down the middle, here John has rendered an ever-so-subtly rounded ridge at the fore — most evident only when held. The rim, then, echoes the bowl's curvaceous shaping in its undulating disposition, while behind, the shank flicks upward, slightly pinched in the middle and at the flanks. The shank's shaping further accentuates the bowl's rotund nature and adds dynamism to the piece, the downward turn of the stem perfectly balancing out the upward curl of the shank. The majority of the stummel wears a contrast sandblast, but the shank face bears a smooth, walnut stain, traveling down the bottom of the shank in an elongated "V" shape. Said smooth section matches well with the lighter hues of the contrast blast, and John has deftly dissipated the smooth finish into the sandblast for a seamless, cohesive aesthetic that echoes the form's organic appeal.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 3.94 in./100.08 mm.
  • Weight: 1.44 oz./40.82 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.63 in./41.40 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.42 in./36.07 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.78 in./19.81 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.84 in./46.74 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Blowfish
  • Finish: Sandblast
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: China
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