Tsuge Ikebana: Smooth Acorn (Kikuchi) (E) (013) (2019)

Product Number: 002-623-4564

Tsuge Ikebana consists of the three carvers led by Kazuhiro Fukuda, each of the three artisans producing their own individual pipes under the workshop's name, which in Japanese means "living flowers." One of the carvers, Asami Kikuchi, presents this Acorn. A graduate of one of Japan's most regarded art schools, Kikuchi's pipemaking style often results in compact and muscular pieces with a strong degree of organicism — resembling floral compositions worthy of the "Ikebana" moniker.

In this particular piece, Asami plays off of the Danish-style Acorn and is a form we saw from the Japanese artisan in the past. The profile showcases the typical shaping cues of the traditional Danish Acorn — a consistently curved underside, generously rounded rim, and genteel flare to the shank end, a motif echoed by the silhouette of the stem base — yet Kikuchi highlights those soft lines and supple curves alongside a dramatic sense of muscularity, the bowl being thick-walled and the transition stout and tight-knit.

The hearty aesthetic combines with the form's gentle curvature for a highly organic, floral theme, especially evident through the concave rim. However, when viewed from the smoker's perspective, this piece trades its robustness for a much more streamlined disposition. The flanks are considerably pinched, lending the bowl a longer, oval shape. Such a play on perspective both contributes to a natural in-hand feel as well as combines the two extremes of Kikuchi's personal style: From the side, this piece falls within her more plump, chubby aesthetic, while from above, it represents the more streamlined, dynamic end of her shaping spectrum.

-Truett Smith
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.07 in./128.78 mm.
  • Weight: 1.70 oz./48.19 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.66 in./42.16 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.30 in./33.02 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.81 in./20.57 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 1.74 in./44.20 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Acorn/Pear
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan
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