Ping Zhan: Smooth Acorn with Bamboo Carved Horn

Product Number: 002-654-0026

Putting a modern spin on a classic design, Ping Zhan has here done something quite interesting with a very Sixten-inspired form — taking one of Ivarsson's signature, organic Acorn shapes and swapping out the bamboo shank extension for one of horn carved to resemble a perfectly cut rhizome. Many makers and marques have carved other mediums to emulate bamboo in the past; Hiroyuki Tokutomi, for example, did some very interesting work with boxwood some years ago. But to my eye, none have executed the theme with as much detail or visual accuracy as Ping has here.

Requiring four different tooling set-ups and four to five hours of work for each piece, these carved horn shank extensions are far more time and labor consuming than working with either horn or bamboo individually. That said, the process does afford him a lot of stylistic and practical benefits. Unlike a traditional bamboo rhizome, for example, Ping can decide how long he wants the extension to be, then later execute the rhythm and spacing to match the composition — rather than the other way around. What's more, by crafting the extension out of horn, Ping's able to show far more variation in color and pattern than he would in bamboo. Here in this piece, you'll find smoky hues of dark mocha and shimmery cream combined with the medium's natural thread-like striated grain — offering a neat, pastoral touch to the overall organic design.

For more information about Ping's work with carved bamboo, check out this All Pipes Considered video on the topic, with a discussion of the unique execution lead by Shane and Adam Davidson. Of course, if you're already convinced, feel free to add this beautiful piece to your own collection. What a striking pipe!

- Andrew Wike

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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.27 in./133.86 mm.
  • Weight: 1.10 oz./31.18 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.80 in./45.72 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.39 in./35.31 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.75 in./19.05 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.40 in./35.56 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Acorn/Pear
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: China