Tsuge Ikebana: Smooth Bent Dublin Sitter (Kikuchi) (I) (029) (2021)

Product Number: 002-623-4619

Asami Kikuchi's introduction to pipes came in a unique twist of fate when, as a young art student in her 20s, she was given the chance through a professor to use the renowned Ikebana pipe workshop to create small wooden sculptures for a project. Fascinated by artisanal pipe making, at the end of the project she asked to stay and learn how to make pipes. Kazuhiro Fukuda, the resident master pipe maker, agreed to take her as an apprentice, and began a very formal, old-school method of teaching her his craft. In 2013 she was introduced to the world as the next Ikebana artisan.

This gestural bent Dublin is an excellent ambassador of Asami's style, and a testament to her skill with small-scale sculpting. It sits on a flattened heel, but that is the only flat aspect anywhere on the stummel, as smooth, curvaceous surfaces grow upward and outward in accordance with the grain in a manner that makes me think the pipe was grown on a tree somewhere as opposed to being shaped. At the bowl's bulbous top, the flanks seamlessly flow up and over to become the rim, then smoothly chamfer at the chamber's edge.

The shank is muscular, but doesn't appear so next to the free-flowing briar expansion that forms the bowl, instead flaring more discretely to a crown of natural plateau. A vulcanite saddle stem grows from a standard mortise-and-tenon arrangement, expanding to a thin ring before reducing quickly and bending downward in a lithe fishtail. A smooth finish and brilliant stain bring the grain to life, with stunning flame grain following both bowl and shank while a garden of birdseye packs the rim's broad curvature.

- Joel Balyeat
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Measurements & Other Details

  • Length: 5.79 in./147.07 mm.
  • Weight: 2.90 oz./82.21 g.
  • Bowl Height: 1.87 in./47.50 mm.
  • Chamber Depth: 1.35 in./34.29 mm.
  • Chamber Diameter: 0.87 in./22.10 mm.
  • Outside Diameter: 2.12 in./53.85 mm.
  • Stem Material: Vulcanite
  • Filter: None
  • Shape: Bent Dublin
  • Finish: Smooth
  • Material: Briar
  • Country: Japan
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