Ray Kurusu: Smooth Opera with Bamboo and Boxwood Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-637-0028

The Opera is, even in its traditional English variants, an eccentric shape, the bowl being pinched at the flanks to make the form less cumbersome when tucked into a vest pocket. In the hands of Ray Kurusu, though, the design becomes all the more unique. The Japanese carver has a penchant for taking rare shapes and making them all his own, whether in specific shaping cues, alternate materials, or a combination of both. He's done that here with this Opera, maintaining the classic's oval bowl yet lending it a much more organic disposition as the bulbous heel droops affably below the line of the transition.

Kurusu continues this organic motif in the crisp array of plateau crowning the wavy rim (resulting in absolutely stunning tongues of flame grain all around the bowl) and, again, with three knuckles of bamboo elongating the shank. At the end of this extension, Ray has fitted a section of boxwood — its concave shaping perfectly cupping the rounded, teardrop-like base of the vulcanite saddle stem. The rotund form echoes the shape of the bowl, contrasting against the rigid lines posed by the bamboo in between for a decidedly striking yet organically coherent aesthetic all around.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.24 in./158.50 mm.
  • Weight: 1.50 oz./42.52 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.45 in./36.83 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.04 in./26.42 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.73 in./18.54 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.55 in./39.37 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Opera
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan
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