Ray Kurusu: Smooth Erotique with Boxwood Tobacco Pipe

Product Number: 002-637-0032

It's not uncommon for carvers to take inspiration from the natural world — the Tulip, Volcano, and Blowfish shapes are all indicative of this, as well as many others that have become integral parts of the artisanal pipe movement. In this Ray Kurusu piece, the Japanese artisan has taken inspiration from a Tokutomi interpretation of an iconic Jørn Micke shape, which looked to the human form for its natural influence, rather than the wilder world of the outdoors. Kurusu has worked extensively with master Toku over the years and has crafted several renditions of this distinctive shape, with this long-shanked rendition being another stunning addition to Ray's portfolio.

This aptly named Erotique form is primarily marked by a rotund, creased bowl and on this piece the left side juts outward slightly further than the right for a subtle dose of asymmetry. Anatomical allusions aside, this piece wonderfully encapsulates the influence Danish and Japanese pipe design has on Kurusu's work and pays homage to two legendary artisans. Small patches of plateau subtly kiss the rim, imbuing the design with even more organicism and adding a touch of visual texture while the bowl is shaped to maximize the vertical grain that flows upward along the wide flanks. The shank is remarkably thin yet sturdy, its elongated form further accentuating the bowl's presence before it terminates in a small boxwood accent ring. The stem's bulbous base echoes the bowl's supple curves, bringing a satisfying and cohesive conclusion to the composition.

- Jeffery Sitts
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 8.50 in./215.90 mm.
  • Weight: 1.40 oz./39.69 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.54 in./39.12 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.17 in./29.72 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.74 in./18.80 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.53 in./38.86 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Freehand
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan
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