Tsuge Ikebana: Smooth Tomato with Bamboo (Kikuchi) (H) (075) (2020)

Product Number: 002-623-4606

The Tsuge Ikebana workshop is composed of three artisan carvers who fashion their own individual pieces but do so under the Ikebana name. Asami Kikuchi is one of the workshop's artisans and notably attended Tama Art University, one of Japan's most illustrious art schools. Shortly after graduating, Asami was afforded the opportunity to craft wooden sculptures for a client in the Tsuge workshop and immediately became fascinated by the tactile and visual appeal that pipes offered. Kikuchi's talent was readily apparent, and she was offered the chance to apprentice under the workshop's master artisan, Kazuhiro Fukuda. Kikuchi's style often reflects an appreciation for muscular yet graceful forms, imbuing them with a strong degree of organicism that's reflected in this Tomato offering.

Perhaps the strongest organic element at play on this example is the bamboo shank extension, with two knuckles positioned between the squat bowl and the elegantly downturned saddle stem. I'm particularly struck by how precise the rhythmic spacing of the bamboo is — a small yet crucial detail that allows for a seamless, uninterrupted profile. The bamboo's comparatively slender disposition helps accentuate the bowl's immense breadth while the medium's pale hue pairs nicely with the stummel's light stain. The bowl is the largest element within this composition, and there's plenty to admire about its grain orientation, with streaks of flame grain enveloping the bowl's bulging flanks while birdseye surrounds the wide, slightly concave rim. A stellar piece from Kikuchi that displays her penchant for organic designs and showcases the precise craftsmanship she has spent years cultivating.

- Jeffery Sitts
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 6.21 in./157.73 mm.
  • Weight: 2.16 oz./61.23 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.40 in./35.56 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.02 in./25.91 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.86 in./21.84 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.32 in./58.93 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Tomato
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan
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